Comments about ‘Jenet Jacob Erickson: Debate over gay parents needs more honest inquiry’

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Published: Sunday, Sept. 23 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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American Fork, UT

Is the definition of marriage a 'grave and serious' matter to society? How? My wife and I have signed the legal contract, but that isn't marriage. Marriage is the ritual we chose to celebrate the contract, and the commitment we make to one another thereafter. Both of those qualities are entirely personal to us, and need not have anything to do with societal expectations or those of some stuffy church. In fact, it can be well said that it's none of their business. Besides, before you can get too haughty about the negative effects of homosexuals being able to call themselves married, take a look at how heterosexuality is doing with it. I don't see any harm in letting people committed enough to one another that they will suffer abuse for it calling themselves married.

Salt Lake City, UT

Excellent article Ms. Erickson the effort by academy to silence scientific inquiry is truly a problem of our modern institutions. Hutterite appreciate your opinion of course the study of which Ms. Erickson is commenting was an attempt to do exactly what you suggest "before you can get too haughty about the negative effects of homosexuals..... take a look at how heterosexuality is doing with it." In this study, it appears that those off spring 18 to 30 from same sex relationships are not doing as well in the measures of the study as the 18 to 30 year old from off spring of heterosexual relationships. Important data and something that sociologist should be studying given the current dynamics moving forward on making same sex marriage an equivalent.

conservative scientist
Lindon, UT

Excellent article Mrs. Erickson. Thank you for the thoughtful commentary. We should evaluate all science on its merits and not by political agendas and not make any honest scientist recant under the bayonet of political correctness.

Marco Luxe
Los Angeles, CA

Hellooo, your comment is exactly why Regnerus was so criticized by peers - that the study would inevitably be mischaracterized as antigay, and that this outcome was foreseeable and was the specific motive of the ideologues [Witherspoon Inst.] who funded it.

You not-unreasonably but wrongly conclude that "it appears that those offspring 18 to 30 from same sex relationships are not doing as well in the measures of the study as the 18 to 30 year old from offspring of heterosexual relationships."

This is exactly what was NOT studied. What was compared was the offspring from stable straight marriages to offspring from broken mixed-orientation relationships. Anyone could tell you the proper comparison would be to offspring from stable gay marriages. Regnerus acknowledged that this was the proper comparison, but didn't do it because it would have been more expensive. This failure is the reason why it was so widely criticized by his peers. He knew he didn't do a proper scientific comparison, he knew it would be mischaracterized as antigay, and he knew his conditional funding from ideological sponsors depended on this improper comparison.

Stable families are better than broken dysfunctional homes. Duh!

Idaho Falls, ID

So how does any scientist do a fair, reliable study on this topic when every study is going to be labled "anti-gay"?

Scott Rose
New York, NY

"Honest inquiry" is not occurring if one points -- as Ms. Erickson does -- at the three writers of commentaries published beside the Regnerus study as "proof" of the study's scientific validity, without disclosing that those three commentary writers are non-topic-experts with conflicts of interest with the study's chief funding agency, the Witherspoon Institute, whose W. Bradford Wilcox also is on the editorial board of the journal that published Regnerus and the commentaries, Elsevier's Social Science Research. The peer reviewers also had similar conflicts of interest. This conflagration of unethical science publication practices never would have occurred at a science journal without a study's funder on its editorial board.

Salt Lake City, UT

Sorry to disappoint you Jenet Jacobs Erickson but documents recently obtained via the Freedom Of Information Act verify that Regnerus Colluded with Witherspoon Institute (the org that funded him).

If the link fails to open the webpage if you hand type it in your browser it will work


Sounds like Erickson is right; "...we need more, not less,academic freedom, honest inquiry and civil discourse."

A Scientist
Provo, UT

The more important question is, what is the relevance of this study (even if it is valid) for the debate over the legalization of same sex marriage?

And the answer is, it has very little relevance.

There are a large number of factors at work in creating better or worse, healthier or less healthy environments for children, and as a matter of liberty, we do not regulate and outlaw all those factors that are less optimal. Americans are protected in their rights to live sub-optimal lives, to suffer from sub-optimal health and habits, to be sub-optimal parents, and to raise sub-optimal children.

And that is assuming that this study has any degree of validity for these questions, which is not the case as stated by the authors themselves.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Irrespective of whether we approve or disapprove of gay marriage, we should let the data speak. We cannot have a rational discussion without considering the simple data.

Bountiful, UT

Ideally, children should be raised by their own mother and father.

When this isn't possible, children should be adopted by a mother and father.

Gays do deserve to be treated with dignity, but children should not have to settle for less to help make this a reality.

Ogden, UT

Men and women both provide a unique and different type of nurturing for children that the other gender cannot provide. A man and a woman together make a whole, or a family unit. Without the nurturing of both a father and a mother a child will lack the needed nurturing and training that is needed in life. This is not always possible for various reasons. We have already seen that communities with more fatherless homes have more crime, poverty, etc. The more fatherless or motherless homes that we have the more society as a whole will erode. What others do does affect me and society. No man is an island.

Casa Grande, AZ

There have always been gay parents.... They just didn't tell anyone including their spouces.

What many see as the unfolding of society is just people being honest.

Sugar City, ID

The human species evolved as a heterosexual pair-bonding species. This evolution occurred as the length of time it took for human offspring to develop into mature adults increased. Those humans that came from the most stable heterosexual pair-bonded parents developed into the healthier, more productive adults. We shouldn't mess with biology to try to accomplish some kind of sociological, feel good, politically correct goal that will inevitably lead to more suffering, poorly adjusted children.

A Scientist
Provo, UT


There is absolutely ZERO scientific evidence to support your absurd claims.

Casa Grande, AZ

Of course at the heart of the issue is weather or not society as a whole (government) has the right to determine who can have children and raise them.

Am I hearing this correctly that people (conservatives) are actulling mulling over the idea of preventing gay parenthood? Preventing people from raising thier own children? Yes gays are having children by a number of methods. Having babies is easy rememeber.

What definetly messes up kids is their straight parents getting divorced.

Saint George, UT

One could very well predict the comments on this article. Even when 'scientific proof' is cited, those for gay marriage, etc. are unwilling to believe it. If the study had concluded otherwise, supporting the children of gay marriage, there would not have been a peep of question from its supporters. Ultimately, this is not about science, it is about your feelings on a controversial topic, and truth be damned.

Saint George, UT

Hutterite, perhaps it would be worthwhile to figure out your definition of 'commitment'. You seem to have strong opinions about what does or does not constitute marraige. Perhaps you could enlighten us as to what constitutes 'commitment', because it appears from this study that no matter the failures of what constitutes marraige by God and our society generally,it appears far better than those who feel otherwise. Perhaps commitment to things and values that matter most are what helps people make greater 'commitment.' Of course, if one is being honest, then no matter your stance on marraige, one shouldn't be afraid of independent, time honored methods for scientific research. Perhaps that is what is so troubling. In a day and age of shallow thinking on a host of issues, it isn't surprising that anyone that actually did solid research would be castigated and maligned.

Nashville, TN

Strange results from his research. I'm gay, my daughter is now 18 studying forensic science as a paleontologist at the University, we are part of the LGBT Community raising kids and none of us have seen this in any of our children. What we have seen is kids who have grown up to be proud of who they are, get into loving relationships, became productive citizens, active in politics and human rights and helping others. So prove to me that his research wasn't flawed and bias.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

You cannot publish a study if it does not support PC dogma.

I guess you didn’t read the article, let alone the study. It didn’t say anything about who or what was married, it compared same sex relationships with intact biological families.

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