After the publication of Mark Regnerus’ absurd and much-criticized study on gay parenting last year, a Florida man named John Becker filed a request under the Florida Public Records Act to get documents related to how it got published by the University of Central Florida (the editor of the journal the study was published in is on staff there). A judge has now ruled that they must release those documents, including email communications during the peer review process.
In an opinion released today, a Florida state court judge ruled that the University of Central Florida must turn over records related to the publication of a debunked 2012 study conducted by Mark Regnerus that demonizes gay and lesbian parents. Regnerus’ research has been called into legal question not merely for its questionable results, but also because the study was underwritten by the Witherspoon Institute, an organization with a history of distinctly unscholarly anti-gay activity…In today’s opinion, Orange County Circuit Judge Donald Grincewicz ruled that emails and documents possessed by University of Central Florida (UCF) related to the flawed study’s peer-review process must be turned over to John Becker, who sought the documents under Florida’s Public Records Act. UCF houses the journal Social Science Research, which published the Regnerus study, and the editor of the journal, UCF Professor James Wright, led the peer-review process for the research. Becker is represented by the Law Office of Andrea Flynn Mogensen, P.A., and Barrett, Chapman & Ruta, P.A; and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation funded the litigation.
The university argued that those documents were not government documents but were personal documents belonging to Wright and thus they did not have to turn them over. The judge rejected that argument. You can read the full ruling here. It will be very interesting to see what those emails reveal.