In their latest attempt to conceal (specifically from this reporter) public records related to the peer review and publication of Mark Regnerus's junk science "study" of same-sex parenting outcomes, the University of Central Florida has enlisted the help of a former chief justice of that state's Supreme Court.
The Human Rights Campaign, which is funding my open records lawsuit against the university, writes:
The University of Central Florida (UCF) has ramped up its legal efforts to block the release of over 50,000 documents related to the flawed same-sex parenting study by Mark Regnerus that appeared last year in the publication Social Science Research, housed at UCF. A judge ruled the university had to release the documents, deemed public records under Florida law. Late last week, UCF retained legal counsel and ignored the court order.
The Law Office of Andrea Flynn Mogensen, P.A., and Barrett, Chapman & Ruta, P.A - which represents John Becker, the reporter who initially sought the documents under Florida public records law - immediately filed an emergency motion for civil contempt.
"What is UCF hiding?" asked Becker. "And why are they fighting tooth and nail - spending taxpayer dollars in the process - to keep these public records under seal?"
Judge Donald Grincewicz ruled on November 13 that emails and documents possessed by UCF related to the Regnerus study's peer-review process must be turned over to Becker. UCF houses the journal Social Science Research, and the editor of the journal, UCF Professor James Wright, led the peer-review process for the research. Grincewicz has since inexplicably recused himself. And... an appellate court in Orlando granted a stay in the case until such time as a new judge can be appointed.
UCF has retained Charles Wells, former Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice, to serve as lead counsel in the case.
"These latest stalling tactics are typical of the way UCF has conducted itself throughout this entire months-long ordeal," said Becker. "Instead of respecting the rule of law in Florida and turning over these public records, the university has stonewalled and obstructed at every turn. Nevertheless, I'm confident that we will prevail in the end and uncover all the public records, including even more of the anti-LGBT animus behind Regnerus' research."
This week, HRC launched a new website, titled "The Regnerus Fallout," which will serve as a clearinghouse of information related to Regnerus's research. Regnerus Fallout details "the flaws, funding, and real purpose of the so-called study," the group writes.
Photo of UCF Alumni Center by Kelly Daacon, via Wikipedia.