How to spend over $4 million fighting marriage equality, lose, and humiliate yourself in the process
University of Texas (Austin) professor Mark Regnerus and all of the other so-called experts called by the state of Michigan to defend its ban on marriage equality was humiliated during the judicial overturning of that law but I wouldn’t worry about their feelings.
As it turns out, they were all well compensated. According to LGBTQNation:
The state of Michigan says it has spent $40,000 on witnesses who testified as experts at a recent trial on same-sex marriage. The state has paid $39,478.75 to experts, and some additional bills “have not yet been sent in,” Joy Yearout, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Bill Schuette, told The Associated Press.
Let’s put Michigan’s waste of $40,000 in a larger perspective.Regnerus had already received $90,000 from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and $695,000 from the Witherspoon Institute to fund his now discredited study on gay parenting. The study was an attempt to sway the Supreme Court in the DOMA and Prop 8 cases and it failed miserably.
Regnerus continued to say that his work was objective, but according to the Huffington Post and the American Independent:
. . . documents, recently obtained through public-records requests by The American Independent and published in collaboration with The Huffington Post, show that the Witherspoon Institute recruited a professor from a major university to carry out a study that was designed to manipulate public policy. In communicating with donors about the research project, Witherspoon’s president clearly expected results unfavorable to the gay-marriage movement. The think tank’s efforts paid off. The New Family Structures Study came out just in time for opponents of gay marriage to cite it in multiple federal cases involving marriage equality – including two cases soon to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Speaking of which, Speaker of the House John Boehner spent $2.3 million of taxpayers’ money in the failed attempt to defend DOMA. Of course this is the same man who won’t help pass a bill giving unemployment benefits to Americans out of work, but that’s another “pot of potatoes.”
So what it all comes down to is that anti-gay groups and their allies in Congress spent over $4 million on cases which they were bound to lose even though they plotted an underhanded scheme to win.
Anyone could have told you that Boehner and company were going to eventually lose DOMA. In fact, I did hint on that prediction in August 2011 when I took a look at the junk science and cherry-picked research Boehner’s handpicked lawyer, Paul Clement, was presenting to make his case.
And the situation with Regnerus merely compounded the comedy of errors which Boehner began.
Both of the Bradley Foundation and the Witherspoon Institute are affiliated with Princeton professor Robert George. At Witherspoon Foundation, he is a Herbert W. Vaughan Senior Fellow and at the Bradley Foundation, he is on the Board of Directors. Robert George is also a founder and chairman emeritus of the National Organization for Marriage whose reputation for fighting marriage equality is well known.
The money spent on Regnerus’s study was useless because it couldn’t cover up the odor of corruption. Organizations which can give out huge amounts of cash for “research,” like the Bradley Foundation and the Witherspoon Institute gave to Regnerus, aren’t exactly looking for “objective results.”
In other words, a lot of folks knew that Regnerus’s study was coming. They knew who funded it and what it’s purpose was. They also knew its fallacies. As a result, it was justifiably discredited all around, including by Regnerus’s own university.