John M. Becker

Court To Florida University: Turn Over Regnerus Records

Filed By John M. Becker | November 12, 2013 5:45 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Florida, junk science, lawsuit, Mark Regnerus, New Family Structures Study, NFSS, parenting study, Regnerus study, same-sex parenting

scales_justice.jpgIn an opinion released today, Orange County, Florida Circuit Court Judge Donald Grincewicz ordered the University of Central Florida to turn over to me and my lawyers records related to researcher/ideologue Mark Regnerus's dubious and discredited New Family Structures Study, which falsely claimed to show that children of same-sex couples do worse than children raised by opposite-sex couples.

In March of this year, I requested public records from UCF in an effort to dig deeper into the highly unusual circumstances surrounding the publication of the NFSS by the journal Social Science Research. UCF houses the journal. I sought to uncover the truth about the peer review and publishing of the Regnerus paper, to find out whether those processes were as ideologically compromised as the study design and data collection processes were shown to have been.

UCF denied my request the next month, so in order to enforce my constitutional right to obtain the records, I filed a lawsuit under Florida's Sunshine Law with the legal help of attorneys Andrea Flynn Mogensen and Victor Chapman and the financial support of the Human Rights Campaign.

From HRC's statement:

[Judge Grincewicz] ruled that emails and documents possessed by University of Central Florida (UCF) related to the flawed study's peer-review process must be turned over to John Becker, who sought the documents under Florida's Public Records Act. UCF houses the journal Social Science Research, which published the Regnerus study, and the editor of the journal, UCF Professor James Wright, led the peer-review process for the research. Becker is represented by the Law Office of Andrea Flynn Mogensen, P.A., and Barrett, Chapman & Ruta, P.A; and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation funded the litigation.

"There has always been a dark cloud over the Regnerus study," said Ellen Kahn of the Human Rights Campaign. "But sunlight is the best disinfectant, and the public has the right to know how junk science gets published in a scholarly journal."

This ruling is an important step toward potentially exposing the anti-LGBT animus behind Regnerus' study -- which, over the past year, has been referenced in a number of arguments both in the United States and internationally on matters relating both to marriage equality and adoption.

I'm headed to Florida tomorrow to testify at a hearing Thursday pursuant to my lawsuit. The light is at the end of the tunnel, folks. I hope that soon, UCF's stonewalling will end, we'll be able to access these public records, and we'll finally uncover the full truth behind the discredited Regnerus study for ourselves.

A copy of the court order is after the jump, via Equality Case Files.

Becker v. UCF Board - ORDER by Equality Case Files

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