Michael F. Haverluck
Michael F. Haverluck

Michael F. Haverluck writes for the “news” blog of American Family Association, an anti-LGBT hate group. Haverluck writes for the Christian Enquirer — otherwise known as WND. He also writes for another hate group, Illinois Family Institute. On Tuesday Haverluck has a big Christian hug for sociologist Mark Regnerus. Suffice it to say that Regnerus might be a gifted researcher were it not for his penchant to create an amalgam of faith and science. In the process, Regnerus has seriously damaged his reputation.

Getting back to Mr. Haverluck, in a piece titled “Prof. warns about same-sex dangers for kids:”

Regnerus does not directly address gay sex. Mr. Haverluck has an agenda. His aim is to smear gay people, specifically gay men.

Studies conducted by University of Texas Sociology Professor Mark Regnerus divulge that children who live with a parent involved in a same-sex relationship are much worse off than children who live with their biological parents – a finding that has come under scathing attacks by pro-LGBT activists and researchers.

Actually the kids in question were living with both biological parents. One of those biological parents was cheating on the other and the child was aware of the infidelity. I would argue that irrespective of with whom the parent was cheating — same sex paramour, opposite sex concubine or Sumatran orangutan — the child would be damaged. The research came under scathing attack from other researchers because the conclusions are intellectually dishonest in defense of the faith. Years later and Michael F. Haverluck is regurgitating the same false information because it suits his religious purposes. He does work for a hate group. What some people won’t do for a paycheck.

Research also shows that minors’ homosexual encounters with same-sex mates are much more detrimental than Americans have been led to believe over the years.

“Twenty years after politicians and researchers howled in protest at research suggesting there was no lasting harm to minors who engage in same-sex sexual relationships with much older adults, similar research now is being met with the silence of the scientific community and may be used to challenge age of consent laws,” WND reports.

The first sentence, above, and the second sentence say two entirely different things. The first seemingly deals with peer sex. The second sentence deals with age differential sex. Yet they are presented as a consistent theme. If teens having sex creates a developmental problem then that would apply to same-sex and opposite-sex encounters equally. The second sentence quotes WND which is not exactly authoritative. It also fails in not identifying who supposedly “howled” over what, when and where.

These sanctimonious, holier-than-thou Christians have a fetish for claiming that gay men are obsessed with having sex with underage boys and are intent on changing age of consent laws. It goes back to the original meaning of the homosexual agenda. Adults should not have sex with children. Period. I do not know anyone who thinks that it is appropriate for adults (of any sexual orientation) to have sex with children. Where exactly is any age of consent law being challenged? When was the last time that anyone challenged an age of consent law in any state?

What has been successfully challenged, from time to time, is not the age of consent but the upper limit for a partner not to be charged with statutory rape. For example, here in Florida the age of consent is 18. However, the law contains a provision allowing teens to consent to having sex with someone age 18 to 21. The law requires the minor to be at least 14 and the adult to be no more than four years older than the minor.

Haverluck has more anti-gay tripe to spew:

Perpetuating destructive behavior

Regnerus is tired of watching researchers publish bad science in the Archives of Sexual Behavior that disarms Americans against the dangers of the homosexual lifestyle.

“[As indicated in the archives], researcher Bruce Rind has led studies suggesting there was no noticeable difference in long-term regret, shame or other negative reactions when compared to the teenagers’ long-term response after having sex for the first time with boys or girls of the same age,” WND’s Greg Corombos informed. “In the Rind studies, the minor girls studied were age 15 on average, while their same-sex partners were 26 years old on average. For males, the boys were an average of 15 and their partners were 28 on average.”

Haverluck cites a piece by Regnerus at Witherspoon Institute’s pretentious blog. I tend to agree with Regnerus — to a point.

The Archives of Sexual Behavior, a journal I respect and have recently published in and reviewed for, has printed a pair of studies by Bruce Rind in the past year. The recent publication of his work marks a significant, unnoticed, and unnerving turn in the dissemination and consumption of research on sex and sexuality.

Almost twenty years ago, both houses of Congress and the American Psychological Association condemned Rind’s claims, published in the August 1998 issue of Psychological Bulletin, that the long-term damages caused by child sexual abuse are overestimated. I would have thought that nearly twenty years, a concurrent resolution of Congress, and a fair bit of social trauma would have convinced him to shift topics.

Again, I do not think that adults should have sex with children. However, I have no interest in the resolutions of Congress to appease social conservatives. I have read Regnerus’ piece in full. Frankly, I lack the training and experience to evaluate his statements. The important thing is to separate what is scientifically sound from what might be morally objectionable or politically incorrect. I am not certain that Regnerus is capable of doing that due to his religious zealotry. Rind has defenders as well as detractors. As Thomas D. Oellerich states:

… it is time to stop the common practices of 1) assuming that CSA causes psychological harm, and 2) routinely recommending psychotherapeutic intervention.

Getting back to Mr. Haverluck, keep in mind the title of his polemic and the fact that he is using this issue to denigrate gay people specifically:

“And now, here they are – back again in respectable academic journals,” Regnerus warned, according to WND. “Here they are teeing up the kind of evidence to overturn age of consent laws. I’m not sure there’s another way to read that. That’s what I saw when I read them. They all come from the same person.”

The reference to overturning age of consent laws is a continuation of the theme of gay men as predators of underage boys. The intent of Haverluck’s essay is to denigrate gay people on behalf of a hate group.

I would remind Mark Regnerus of the need to be able to publish controversial material if it is scientifically sound. The reaction to Regnerus’ research was what it was, at least in part, because the people who paid for the study (Witherspoon) were making claims that were not supported by the study in order to provide a means of opposing same-sex marriage. For the most part, Regnerus went along with the claims of Witherspoon although he was pretty honest with Bill Keller at the New York Times:

Regnerus, when I talked to him, conceded that his study compared apples and oranges, because “I didn’t have oranges.” He was unable to articulate what bearing his study had on gay marriage except that it “paints the reality of people’s lives as fairly complicated.”

Haverluck demonstrates that Regnerus can be full of crap or his take on Regnerus is full of crap:

“Downstream from documenting something becomes acceptability, which becomes something that’s legal,” Regnerus pointed out, noting that U.S. taxpayers are funding the normalization of statutory rape. “I don’t know that we’ll ever legalize this sort of thing. I pray not. But there is a bridge being built in that direction. There’s not just foundation money underwriting this. Even the federal government – via the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation – is tacitly complicit in this type of research.”

What exactly are U.S. taxpayers funding towards the “normalization of statutory rape?” At least Regnerus is honest enough to state that adult-child sex is probably never going to be legalized.

Regnerus and Haverluck want to associate supposed acceptance of underage sex with same-sex marriage:

He blames much of the apathy on America’s acceptance of the nationwide legalization of same-sex “marriage” a few years ago by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

“The quest for marriage – I say in my new book entitled Cheap Sex – was actually a sort of cultural land grab,” the expert on human sexuality contended. “Here, we’re seeing a little more evidence that what’s at stake here is human decency and the dignity of children and persons in general.”

I wondered, at first, if Regnerus is being paraphrased incorrectly by Haverluck. However, it is clear that Regnerus is manufacturing a consequence of marriage equality — one that might not even exist. There is a very high leap between Bruce Rind’s research and societal acceptance of adults having sex with children. Regnerus has a book to sell.

And now it’s time for some recruitment as part of The Homosexual Agenda™.

The social conservative warns how Rind avoids addressing the serious consequences of delving into homosexual activity.

“One of the ploys going on here is the, ‘Oh, regardless of the situation in which the first sex occurred, the outcomes long term are OK and going along with it is some form of consent,’” Regnerus explained. “That’s a ridiculous notion to suspect that somehow we’re talking about power that’s equal between a 13-year-old and say a 27- or 28-year-old. It’s a ludicrous notion.”

To be fair, Haverluck’s assertion is not congruent with the quote from Regnerus. Regnerus does not address sexual orientation and his point is that a minor cooperating to have sex doesn’t mean that the minor is consenting to the sex. I think that Regnerus is correct in that regard.

Haverluck gets worse:

The dangers of convincing youth that same-sex relationships are harmless and should be celebrated – instead of dangerous and to be avoided – is feared to bring about a landslide of socially and morally destructive behavior.

“Regnerus further asserts that because such events can convince young people that they must be of a certain sexual persuasion, that they don’t look back on such experiences negatively and may even look back on them as enjoyable, a metric he says Rind also equates with consent,” Corombos relayed. “He says it is very difficult to quantify the true impact of such an event years – or even decades – later.”

The first paragraph set up an idiotic quote from some moron at WND. It’s not Regnerus. I do not think that even Regnerus would suggest that boys can be made gay through sex. They cannot be made straight through sex either. By the time a kid is 14 or 15 he pretty much knows what his sexual orientation is.

Then there is this:

Not the same …

Regnerus published some controversial and eye-opening findings in his New Family Structure Study (NFSS) several years back that put to rest arguments from the Left that same-sex couples are just as capable of providing a healthy, wholesome and nurturing environment to raise children.

The professor based out of Austin, Texas, discovered that when children are raised in a home with same-sex parents – as opposed to a home with heterosexual married parents – they are much more likely to … [parade of horribles]

Either Mr. Haverluck has not read the study or he does not understand it.

  • Regnerus did not study children raised by gay couples!
  • Regnerus did not study children raised by gay couples!
  • Regnerus did not study children raised by gay couples!

My initial question remains. Is AFA’s writer dishonest or stupid (or both)? It is a rhetorical question and it really doesn’t matter. Either way, he is misleading people. Once again it is up to Regnerus to correct the record. He probably will not do so.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.