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DETROIT – U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman found the testimony of the state’s key witness sociologist Mark Regnerus “entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration,” and that it was contrived by a cabal of right-wing ideologues who created the “research” to shore up their objections to marriage equality.
On cross examination at trial, Regnerus admitted that the Witherspoon Institute, a conservative religious organization, had funded his study. Witherspoon and other right-wing groups including the Heritage Foundation, donated roughly $700,000 to Regnerus’ research team.
Friedman addressed the conflict of interest and bias implied by the funding sources. “The evidence adduced at trial demonstrated that his 2012 ‘study’ was hastily concocted at the behest of a third-party funder,” wrote Friedman. “While Regnerus maintained that the funding source did not affect his impartiality as a researcher, the Court finds his testimony unbelievable. The funder clearly wanted a certain result, and Regnerus obliged.”