Mark Regnerus is, yet again, defending the teachings of the Catholic Church while posturing as a legitimate scientist

Mark Regnerus is an “expert” witness for the state. He is defending Arkansas’ ban of gender-affirming care.

Scholarly integrity? Mark Regnerus is willing to say or write just about anything — no matter how preposterous — if doing so is in defense of the teachings of the Catholic Church. There’s a name for that: “Prostitute.”

Regnerus has authored quite a few articles in regards to religion. For example: “Losing My Religion: The Social Sources of Religious Decline in Early Adulthood. I have no problem with that.

However, when Regnerus authors articles about human sexuality, he obfuscates the fact that he is defending Church teachings. He presents his article as secular research. Doing so is intellectually dishonest. Regnerus’ defense of the Arkansas ban is intended to mislead the judge regarding his motives and qualifications.

I am hardly the first person to see through this bullshit. In 2014 U.S. District Court Judge Bernard Friedman, for the Eastern District of Michigan struck down Michigan’s ban on same sex marriage. Regnerus was an “expert” witness in that case too.

Judge Friedman had some choice words for Dr. Regnerus:
The Court finds Regnerus’s testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration. The evidence adduced at trial demonstrated that his 2012 “study” was hastily concocted at the behest of a third-party funder, which found it “essential that the necessary data be gathered to settle the question in the forum of public debate about what kinds of family arrangement are best for society” and which “was confident that the traditional understanding of marriage will be vindicated by this study.” See Pls.’ Motion in limine to Exclude Testimony of Mark Regnerus, Ex. 9.

Remember that phrase “hastily concocted.” Regnerus has done it again.

“Regnerus lacks the training and experience to make a forceful argument.”

To bolster his credibility with the judge in this case, Regnerus advises that he has authored a number of peer-reviewed articles. At the top of the list is this:

Conditional acceptance means that the journal has agreed to publish the paper providing that Regnerus makes some changes requested by peer reviewers. No preview is available at the journal. It is represents the only article in a long list that deals with gender dysphoria. Hastily concocted?

In other words it appears that Regnerus “hastily concocted” a paper specifically to support his supposed expertise for this case.

Regnerus co-author, Brad Vermurlen, is “a research associate in the sociology department at the University of Texas at Austin, also with ties to The Austin Institute.” Vermurlen is also a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at USC.

Austin Institute was apparently established by Regnerus. Its chairman is none other that Luis Tellez, an Opus Dei numerary. Tellez is also the president of Witherspoon Institute which funded the “hastily concocted” study that Judge Friedman was referring to.

That study, by the way, purported to prove that gay couples were crappy parents. It did not and the sampling did not represent scientific rigor. One prominent scholar (whose name I have forgotten) summed it up with one word: “Bullshit.”

Getting back to the current document, Mark Regnerus doesn’t really provide evidence to support the proposition that the administration of puberty blockers is, what would amount to, malpractice. Regnerus lacks the training and experience to make a forceful argument.

Overall, Regnerus relies on “we don’t know.” It is true that more research needs to be done. However, based on the available evidence, the benefits of puberty blockers clearly outweigh the concerns. That is the opinion of people who do have the necessary training and experience.

Bottom line: Regnerus does not make a persuasive argument because he lacks the knowledge to do so.”

Regnerus also depends upon the study done by Lisa Littman which basically says said that gender dysphoria is contagious. I write “said” because the publisher issued a 3,100 word correction which eviscerated the original article.

Regnerus claims that Littman was victimized for political correctness. He can read research better than I can. It is clear from the formal correction that there were substantive issues with Littman’s sampling. Regnerus seemingly ignores the material.

“The good news is that the religious nutters have some serious competition.”

Bottom line: Regnerus does not make a persuasive argument because he lacks the knowledge to do so.

The state has provided a number of affidavits including crackpots like Dr. Paul Hruz who has gotten only more pernicious. There are also affidavits from the crazy ex-trans-for-Jesus folks like Walt Heyer and Laura Perry.

One of the more interesting characters is Roger Hiatt, Jr., M.D.. For five years ended in 2019, Hiatt was the medical director of the Provo Canyon School in Utah. Presumably, the Arkansas AG did not research Provo Canyon School mostly known for its history of abusing children. Hiatt is the last person who should testify regarding the treatment of children.

The good news is that the religious nutters have some serious competition.
BRIEF filed by Academic Pediatric Association, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Physicians for Human Rights Inc, American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians, American Medical Association, American Pediatric Society, American Psychiatric Association, Arkansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Arkansas Council on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Arkansas Psychiatric Society, Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs, Endocrine Society, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, Pediatric Endocrine Society, Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, Society for Pediatric Research, Society of Pediatric Nurses, World Professional Association for Transgender Health Brief of Amici Curiae American Academy of Pediatrics and Additional National and State Medical, Mental Health, and Educational Organizations in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction

The following states filed an amicus brief in support of Arkansas’ law: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.

No surprises in the above. The judge in this case is James Maxwell Moody Jr., an Obama appointee.

Lead counsel for the plaintiffs (challenging the ban) is Chase Strangio with the ACLU. Strangio is supported by lawyers from the highly prestigious firm, Sullivan and Cromwell.

A hearing on the motion to enjoin the state from enacting this law is scheduled for next Wednesday, July 21.

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.