Yesterday, less than a day before the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver is scheduled to hear oral arguments in Kitchen v. Herbert (Utah's marriage equality lawsuit), the state of Utah filed a last-minute letter distancing itself from Mark Regnerus's discredited, anti-LGBT junk science "study."
The state had previously cited the Regnerus "study" in district court and appeals briefs. Perhaps it wanted to avoid embarrassment by citing a study that another federal judge ruled "entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration"?
The state's letter:
Utah files this supplemental letter in response to recent press reports and analysis of the study by Professor Mark Regnerus, which the State cited at footnotes 34 and 42 of its Opening Brief, and which addresses the debate over whether same-sex parenting produces child outcomes that are comparable to man-woman parenting.
First, we wish to emphasize the very limited relevance to this case of the comparison addressed by Professor Regnerus. As the State's briefing makes clear, the State's principal concern is the potential long-term impact of a redefinition of marriage on the children of heterosexual parents. The debate over man-woman versus same-sex parenting has little if any bearing on that issue, given that being raised in a same-sex household would normally not be one of the alternatives available to children of heterosexual parents.
Second, on the limited issue addressed by the Regnerus study, the State wishes to be clear about what that study (in the State's view) does and does not establish. The Regnerus study did not examine as its sole focus the outcomes of children raised in same-sex households but, because of sample limitations inherent in the field of study at this point, examined primarily children who acknowledged having a parent who had engaged in a same-sex relationship. Thus, the Regnerus study cannot be viewed as conclusively establishing that raising a child in a same-sex household produces outcomes that are inferior to those produced by man-woman parenting arrangements.
Oral arguments in Kitchen v. Herbert begin today at 10:00 A.M. MDT (noon EDT). Also in Regnerus-related legal news, today is also the second day of the Florida circuit court trial in Becker v. University of Central Florida, my open-records lawsuit seeking public records relating to and providing context about the peer review and publication of Regnerus's study.
Utah's filing is after the jump, via Equality Case Files.