Deboer v. Snyder – Day 8 Update 2 (final for the day)

Cross Examination of Dr. Allen

Attorney for Plaintiff:  So you are not a psychologist, a sociologist, no degree or even took a class in sociology, not an expert in child dev.  (correct to all)

Do you acknowledge there is a broad consensus that outcomes for children do not differ if their parents are same sex or opposite sex?  Yes, but he disagrees.

Do you agree that small sample/convenience samples are common in the field of psychology?  Answers yes, as they relate to the child outcome studies.

Qn – throughout the field of psychology?  Answer – I don’t know.

Convenience samples look at things in a more individualized and personal way.  Yes.

That psychologists looks at people and economists look at numbers.  Answer:  No, numbers are looking at people.

Would you agree that psychologists were using convenience samples to study people long before they started studying same sex families?  Yes.

Regarding the Regnerus study – you previously stated that he was comparing apples to oranges?  Yes, but…

Did you say that the Regnerus study also used a random sample it was still too small to identify enough same sex couples.  “stability was too correlated with household type” and that he had to expand his definition?  Yes.  To be a same sex couple in his data set is the same than as being unstable.

Qn – so he expanded the definition of parent to someone the child may never have known?  Answer – correct.

Qn – was that a reasonable trade off? Answer – It was reasonable because the reader can decide if it was reasonable or unreasonable.

Discussion about not having enough married same sex couples, thereby limiting the population that can be studied.  Qn:  So it would be better to have marriage available in all 50 states so we can get the answer to these questions quicker?  Yes, for academic reasons.

Qn regarding his view of Rosenfeld work:  Did you ever say that “solid” evidence exists on child outcomes?  “Solid” work?  “Solid” statistical work?  Answer: Can’t recall.  Plaintiff’s attorney read him a quote from his report stating:  Rosenfeld’s study was “the first solid piece of statistical work done on the topic.”  Did he mean when he said it?  Yes.  Did he refer to the study as a “watershed publication”?  Yes.  Did you state that the importance of Rosenfeld’s study is hard to overstate?  Yes.

How many children are held back a grade before graduating in the aggregate?  Answer 10-12%

His opinion of the minimum sample size to find statistical significance?  He quoted Nock and said roughly 800, depending on what was being studied.

The number of children lived for at least 5 years in the same sex household in the Rosenfeld study was 3,502.  So, even when corrected for residency and for same sex parents, is more than 4 times the amount he just stated was needed for an adequate sample.

When it comes to correcting for “own child” and “5 year residency” the dispute between Rosenfeld and Allen is a difference in methodology, right?  Yes.

Quoted from Allen’s report:  Rosenfeld’s justification was legitimate to adjust for children raised in same sex households, not just living there at the time of the survey? Answer – Correct

In fact, Allen was able to re-create Rosenfeld’s data, correct?   Answer – correct

Dr. Allen has tried to distinguish the outcomes of Rosenfeld’s study, and claim that Rosenfeld holds out that there are “no differences” in the outcomes of the children raised by same sex couples as those raised by opposite sex couples.  In fact, Rosenfeld’s conclusions if that there are “no statistically significant differences”, isn’t that right?  Answer correct.

Allen read from Rosenfeld’s report where he concluded “Fundamentally no difference” and “No inherent negative impact” and held that out as support that Rosenfeld misrepresented the conclusion as being “no difference” as opposed to “no statistically significant difference”.

He reiterated that his research shows that the odds of boys living with gay male parents is 69% higher for reaching high school graduation than children raised by opposite sex couples.  But, Allen states that this finding is “statistically insignificant”.

He was shown a graph that had been included in his report that illustrated what he identifies as the flaw in Rosenfeld’s findings.  He admits on cross examination that the graph was “stylized and metaphorical” and not actually representative of the statistics found by Rosenfeld.

Qn – the illustration would leave the reader with the impression that children of same sex couples are at least a full grad behind what you label “traditional kids” by the time they are age 8.  Isn’t that right?  Yes, but it is stylized.  Did you say in your report that the graph was not accurate?  Answer: No.  In paragraph 26 of your report says:  “However, what actually was found is represented in Fig 2.” And now you are saying that it is stylized?  Referred to page 87.  Answer:  Well, I guess I did say that.

You say that one of the advantages of using the Canadian census is that the same sex couples self identify because of the questions that are included on the survey.  In fact, the survey asked if the household contains a husband and wife, or a same sex couple, but does not specify if the couple is co-habitating or is married.  Answer – I was assured by the census department that it does measure the two different groups.  Plaintiff’s attorney showed him the survey questionnaire, and he conceded that the questions were set up so that the answer did not differentiate between married and co-habitating.

There was discussion about how divorce was calculated into Allen’s data.  He admits that it would not be possible to tell when the participant was divorce, was divorced more than once, or was married now but was previously divorced.

Admits that the children covered by the study would have all been born before same sex marriage was legalized in Canada.

The Canadian census did not say when the difficulty in school started, what the child’s circumstances were at the time or who they were living with at the time.  Correct.

The Canadian census does not divide the children out into biological, foster, adopted or step children.  Answer: correct.

You have personal beliefs about homosexuality, isn’t that right?  Yes.

Qn: In fact, you believe that the consequence of homosexual acts will result in the permanent separation of the person and God, in other words, they will go to Hell?

Answer:  Yes, if they don’t repent.

Re-Direct by AG:

The trade-off you mentioned regarding the Regnerus study, can you elaborate?  Yes,  Can’t separate instability from same sex households.  Being unstable is the same thing as being in a same sex couple.  So, all the variation of the same sex couple is consumed with the instability category.  If you leave it out, the sample drops significantly.  He made a trade off to keep them in and keep the sample larger.

You want to see lots of different studies.

Conclusion of Defendant State’s case.

Friday:  Court starts at 10 am.  Closing arguments.

Monday:  If any party wants to submit a brief with findings of fact and conclusions of law, they will be accepted at noon on Monday.

{editorial comment – Because the Court is willing to take briefs from the parties on Monday, it is a clear indication that the court will not be making a ruling from the bench tomorrow.}

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