Mark Regnerus

Mark Regnerus does have the training and experience to produce worthy offerings. Whether or not he would publish findings at odds with the teachings of the Catholic Church remains unknown, perhaps doubtful. Regnerus has an article at Witherspoon Institute’s blog that tends to prove a point that we have made strenuously over the years in regards to the contrast between polygamy and same-sex marriage.

The article is titled: Polyamory: Complicated New Identity or Primarily About Sex? The subtitle reads:

A study of consensual, overlapping sex partners unwittingly reveals the strengths of monogamy.

Whether or not Regenerus’ conclusions are correct or merely a defense of Christian dogma is irrelevant. I am sure that it is relevant to him but not me (bear with me). Moreover, Regnerus demonstrates intellectual dishonesty and his persistent homophobia:

Polyamory, for those who aren’t in the know, is actually a collection of practices, all of which revolve around the theme of not wantinMark Regnerusg to have sex with just one person at a time. The authors, unfortunately, label it as an identity—as if we need one more of those. Some even hold that polyamory may be innate. (Perhaps it should be a protected class.)

That link is to a pseudonymous post to Slate. I will leave it at that. Regnerus seems to be attacking the innateness of sexual orientation; comparing it to the apparent absurdity of polyamory being innate. Furthermore,  that last parenthetical reads like sarcasm related to gays as a protected class. But I digress.

Prior to Obergefell v. Hodges:

In the long and arduous struggle for marriage equality one of the opposing talking points — one that made its way to the Supreme Court — was that if gays could marry then there would be nothing to stop the legitimizing of polygamy. Our response was uniformly that polygamy would have to stand on its own because same-sex marriage and polygamy were separate and distinct constructs.

In this piece, Regnerus seems to have proved the point. He can make a legitimate, secular (at least on the surface) and intellectually honest argument in opposition to polyamory (which includes polygamy). The correctness of his conclusions doesn’t matter. I am sure that there are good arguments that oppose those made by Regnerus.

However, no one was capable of doing what Regnerus has done regarding same-sex marriage. The arguments from Robert P. George and Ryan T. Anderson (among others) were theoretical in spite of the fact that they had years of data available from Massachusetts. None of the contents of their basket of horribles has come to pass.

Regnerus tried a different approach but we all know what happened. In fact, he continues to deal with the fallout. In this article he writes:

Since 2012, a nonstop litany of accusations has asserted that I am blinded by bias in what I have written about sex and sexual relationships, peer review be damned. You are welcome to believe what I have asserted, or think me wrong.

The real problem with that 2012 product was that Regnerus, and the people who paid for the research, asserted a claim that (in simple terms) the study proved that gay couples were crappy parents. Regnerus finally came clean in a 2013 New York Times interview with Bill Keller. Keller wrote:

The study was pretty well demolished by peers. … Regnerus, when I talked to him, conceded that his study compared apples and oranges, because “I didn’t have oranges.”

Regnerus now seems to posture as someone who has been persecuted or victimized. I am jealous. I had to get shot to be interviewed by the Times.

So, in summary, Regnerus has proved what we said all along. Same-sex marriage has nothing to do with polyamory. Attempts to manufacture polyamory as a consequence of same-sex marriage failed because they were intellectually dishonest.

Related content:

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.