LGBT — March 4, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Professional opinion-holder barred as “expert” in Michigan marriage equality trial


Your tax money hard at work…being wasted

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s fight to preserve our state’s bigoted same-sex marriage ban was dealt a significant blow yesterday when professional opinion-holder and philosophy student Sherif Girgis was barred from testifying as an “expert” in the marriage equality case of April Deboer and Jayne Rowse:

A judge barred an Ivy League law student Monday from testifying at Michigan’s gay marriage trial, saying he might become an expert witness someday but his opinions wouldn’t help sway this case.

It was a blow for the Michigan attorney general’s office, which had offered Sherif Girgis as its first witness in defense of a 2004 constitutional amendment that bars same-sex marriage.

Girgis has written and talked about a historical defense of marriage between a man and a woman going back to ancient philosophers such as Cicero and Plato. He’s pursuing a law degree at Yale University and a doctorate in philosophy in Princeton University.

“The fact is you’re still a student. Someone else is still grading your papers,” said attorney Ken Mogill, co-counsel for two Detroit-area nurses challenging the gay-marriage ban.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman said Girgis is smart, articulate and bound to become an expert in his field.

“But not quite yet,” Friedman said.

Oh, snap.

The plaintiffs argued that Girgis isn’t “a lawyer, child development expert, psychologist or expert in Michigan law”. Judge Friedman agreed.

These expert witnesses are not inexpensive so it cost Schuette a pretty penny to have him travel to Michigan only to be sent off the stand without testifying. And, when I say “it cost Schuette a pretty penny” I mean that it cost you and I as taxpayers of Michigan a pretty penny. Your tax dollars hard at work being wasted by our homophobic AG.

In other news, another of Schuette’s “experts”, sociologist Mark Regnerus, received a loud smackdown regarding his positions on the impact of same-sex parenting on children. The smackdown came from his employer, the Sociology Department of the University of Texas:

One of the state’s key experts in Michigan’s same-sex marriage trial has gone on the defense, drawing criticism from an unlikely source: his own employer.

The Sociology Department of the University of Texas issued this statement Monday about sociologist Mark Regnerus, who believes traditional marriage should be upheld in Michigan because, he says, kids thrive best in that setting.

“Dr. Regnerus’ opinions are his own. They do not reflect the views of the Sociology… Nor do they reflect the views of the American Sociological Association, which takes the position that the conclusions he draws from his study of same-sex parenting are fundamentally flawed on conceptual and methodological grounds and that findings from Dr. Regnerus’ work have been cited inappropriately in efforts to diminish the civil rights and legitimacy of LBGT partners and their families. We encourage society as a whole to evaluate his claims.”

Not a good week for Michigan’s homophobic bigots who feel threatened by the marriages of others.

Please, sir, may I have some more?