Antigay essay by Jeb Bush appointee surfaces

BY Advocate.com Editors

August 23 2002 11:00 PM ET

Florida's new child welfare chief, who last week denied coauthoring a controversial 1989 essay that condoned spanking even if it produces bruises, wrote another article for a magazine that included a rant against homosexuality, according to The Miami Herald. The article, which bears Jerry Regier's name alone, appeared in the July-August 1988 issue of Pastoral Renewal, a religious magazine no longer published. The article is titled "The Not-So-Disposable Family."

The article argued for establishing family values based on "biblical norms" and listed principles intended to establish "clear roles for fathers and mothers." In the piece, Regier says that husbands must have authority over their wives, who should not work outside the home unless it is financially necessary. "Scripture is clear in stating that women are to be 'helpmates' to their husbands, that they are to bear and nurture children, that they are to be 'workers at home.' "

Regier also declared that sex outside heterosexual marriage is a sin and said that, according to research, children reared without a father are more likely to experience "psychosexual development problems" such as homosexuality. "Both girls and boys from mother-dominant homes were more likely to indicate that they disliked the opposite sex," Regier wrote, summarizing the findings of a 1961 study. "They were also more likely to be disliked by the opposite sex."

Regier also wrote: "Sex outside the confines of a monogamous heterosexual marriage is strongly condemned in Scripture. The Bible describes fornication, adultery, and homosexuality as sin." At one point in the article, Regier likens the biblical restrictions on sexuality to modern-day traffic laws: "If there were no laws, no stop signs, no traffic lights or parking restrictions, chaos on the streets and in our cities would result," he wrote. "If there are no stop signs related to sex, cultural chaos results."

In an interview with the Herald Thursday, Regier said it is important to distinguish between a "theological" discussion of issues and a public policy discussion. But last March he told the Family Outreach Conference, which took place at Brigham Young University's campus in Provo, Utah, "One of my passions for the last 21 years has been to bring God's voice, in a sense, to public policy."

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