Earlier this week, in a brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, the American Sociological Association urged the court to strike down marriage discrimination amendments in Utah and Oklahoma and rebuked the discredited research of ASA member Mark Regnerus, whose anti-LGBT New Family Structures Study falsely claimed to show that children do worse with same-sex parents than opposite-sex parents.
The ASA announced the brief in a press release:
"Our latest amicus brief is part of the ASA's ongoing effort to ensure that U.S. courts considering lawsuits to legalize gay marriage understand that social science research shows parents' sexual orientation has no bearing on their children's well-being," said ASA Executive Officer Sally T. Hillsman. "The claim that same-sex parents produce less positive child outcomes than heterosexual parents is simply unsupported."
"As the same-sex marriage debate continues in courtrooms across the country, the ASA will continue to emphasize the clear social science research consensus that children raised by same-sex parents fare just as well as children raised by heterosexual parents," Hillsman said. "In addition, we will continue to correct the record when gay marriage opponents misinterpret or misrepresent social science research to support their position."
Same-sex marriage opponents, including those defending the gay marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma, often misinterpret or misrepresent social science research, claiming it indicates children with gay parents have worse outcomes than those with heterosexual parents. In particular, same-sex marriage opponents frequently misportray research by Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin.
"As I have stated before--and as I will continue to state--the Regnerus papers and other sources gay marriage opponents often rely on provide no basis for their arguments because this research does not directly examine the well-being of children raised by same-sex parents," Hillsman said. "Therefore, these analyses do not undermine the social science research consensus and do not establish a legitimate basis for gay marriage bans."
The ASA took pains to point out that Regnerus's conclusions -- and his subsequent anti-marriage equality advocacy -- quite simply could not be more wrong:
Rather than proving same-sex marriage is a bad thing for children, social science research actually suggests the opposite. "I want to reemphasize that the research supports the conclusion that the extension of marriage rights to same-sex couples has the potential to improve child well-being insofar as the institution of marriage may provide social and legal support to families and enhance family stability--all of which are key drivers of positive child outcomes," Hillsman said.
Sit down, Mark. You just got served.
The ASA's brief is embedded after the jump.