FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Contact: John M. Becker, Investigative Journalist
Lawsuit Seeks Release of Public Records on
Controversial Same-Sex Parenting Study
Journalist Seeks to Compel Public University to Reveal Records
ORLANDO, Fl – Yesterday, investigative journalist John Becker filed a lawsuit against the University of Central Florida (UCF) seeking access to public records relating to the controversial research paper by Mark Regnerus, New Family Structures Study cited in briefs and at oral argument before the Supreme Court last month.
Becker requested records from UCF in early March 2013 in an effort to dig deeper into the highly unusual circumstances surrounding the publication of NFSS by the journal Social Science Research, which is housed at UCF. Professor James Wright, editor of the journal, is a faculty member at UCF and many of the records relating to the matter are on servers located at UCF. Becker’s request for public records was denied by UCF on April 1, 2013.
Some criticisms of the NFSS are that conservative foundations financially backed the research paper, the peer review process was tainted by conflicts of interest and the paper was rushed to publication to coincide with the 2012 presidential election.
As documented in the lawsuit, publication of NFSS study created “a firestorm of controversy among social scientists who study family and sexuality—fanned by the author’s cultivation of popular media reporting on the study.” Conflicts of interest in the peer review process have also been uncovered. Mr. Becker sought the UCF records to find out more about these issues.
“My interest in filing this Sunshine Law Request is to discover the truth about the peer review and publishing of the Regnerus paper, which is unknown at this point,” said Becker. “Finding the truth is additionally important because the paper was prominently cited last month by opponents of same-sex marriage in briefs and arguments before the Supreme Court.”
“These records are open to any citizen who wants to inspect them and we will vigorously enforce Mr. Becker’s constitutional right to obtain the records from UCF,” said attorney Andrea Flynn Mogensen.
John Becker is an investigative journalist, blogger and contributor to the Huffington Post, The Advocate, the Bilerico Project and Back 2 Stonewall. Becker has appeared as a guest on major news and political shows including ABC’s World News Tonight, Nightline, and Good Morning America; NBC’s Today Show; Fox’s Alan Colmes Show; MSNBC’s Ed Schultz Show and Live with Al Sharpton, and the Associated Press Television Network.
Attorneys Andrea Flynn Mogensen, Sarasota, Florida, and Victor Chapman of Barrett, Chapman & Ruta, P.A., in Orlando, Florida, represent Mr. Becker. Ms. Mogensen was the 2009 recipient of the Justice James C. Adkins Sunshine Litigation Award from the First Amendment Foundation and specializes in litigation under Florida’s Sunshine Law and Public Records Act.
A copy of the lawsuit is available here:
 How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study, Social Science Research, Volume 41, Issue 4, Pages 752-770 (July 2012) By Dr. Mark Regnerus, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2012.03.009
 Sherkat, D.E., The editorial process and politicized scholarship: Monday morning editorial quarterbacking and a call for scientific vigilance, Social Science Research (2012), available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2012.08.007