By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com June 18 2012 1:14 PM ET
A University of Texas professor is standing by his recently published study questioning the abilities of gay and lesbian couples as parents.
Professor Mark Regnerus sought to examine whether there is a difference between growing up with a gay parent as opposed to other forms of family structures. Several have blasted his research, including the American Psychological Association, which has even submitted briefs for court cases, citing that "lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children."
Additionally, a joint press release by the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry, Family Equality Council, and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said Regnerus is a right-wing author, and that his study was biased in part because it was funded with $695,000 from the antigay Witherspoon Institute and $90,000 from the Bradley Foundation. Activist organization Truth Wins Out has launched a campaign calling for the University to investigate the study.
However, Regnerus told The Daily Texan that he stands by his research, which appears in the July issue of Social Science Research. The study compares the adult lives of 40 people and claims to have found a difference in the lives of those who grew up with a mother in a lesbian relationship and those who grew up with two married heterosexual parents who were still married. The study was criticized for not examining the lives of adult children of stable lesbian parents. Many of the study's children considered to be raised in gay households were not being raised by parents in a committed same-sex relationship, whereas many of the children in heterosexual households had two married parents. Children of parents who had at one time in their lives been in a same-sex relationship were considered to be part of a "gay household."
"I don't have a political ax to grind," he said. "I know the funders are conservative. I don't know what they make of this. I will always follow where the data leads."