Thursday March 6, 2014
9:12 Paula Tutman:
Hi, it's Paula Tutman. I'm a collegue of Roger Weber's. He's a little older, a lot taller and the best there is in the business, but he has a couple of days off and so I'll try to do him justice by keeping his seat warm during the end of the trial. My spelling is awful, so let me apologize early for any misspelled words. Let's go with the spirit of what's going on in court, since that's why we're all here.
9:13 Paula Tutman:
Okay... here we go. We all know the players, right?
Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer are a same-sex couple from Hazel Park, Michigan who want to ban the Michigan ban on same-sex marriage which Michigan voters decided in 2004. They've, individually adopted children and want the right to marry so they can adopt one another's children. The two women say that ban on marriage violates the U.S. Constitution.
Federal Judge: Bernard Friedman .
Plaintiffs: Carole Stanyar, Dana Nessel, Kenneth Mogill
Attorney General: Kristen Heyse, Michelle Brya, Joseph Potchen
9:16 Paula Tutman:
So we're in the last days of this trial. Today, one last witness. Remember this all boils down to "Do children do well in households with same sex parents."
One more witness today. He's on the stand now. He's Dr. Douglas Allen of Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. He is the last of four witnesses called by the Attorney General. He teaches micro economic theory.
zzzzzzzzzzz... except that he teaches topics about marriage, divorce, same sex marriage, etc.
The blah, blah, blah on this guy is he teaches theories in institutions... with a focus on families. So in plain English, he's an award winning theorist on the "institution of Family". In plainer English, he's written five books, including text books with his research on families.
9:17 Paula Tutman:
He's actually been involved in three other same-sex marriage cases, including 2 cases in Canada. He's also been an expert in the Prop. 8 case in California.
9:18 Paula Tutman:
July of 2005 same sex marriage was legalized in Canada. Wow, I didn't know that and Canada is right across the river. I think this is going to be interesting... hold on.
9:23 Paula Tutman:
By the way, the attorney at the podium, Kristin Heyse she's a State attorney. She is basically vetting Dr. Allen's expertise to put on the record He has lots of credentials and training.
9:23 Paula Tutman:
Dr. Allen is a social scientiest. What's cool about that is, even though he delves into theories, he uses a scientific method to measure his findings.
He's planning to offer his opinions of his report on child's outcomes. He's actually going to present his high school paper on family. He's been recieved as a witness and so here we go.
9:27 Paula Tutman:
ooops, just saw a typo. I was typing verbatim. He's going to give HIS report, not mine. I don't have a report. I'm just the typist, here. Sorry about that.
9:30 Paula Tutman:
Stay with me... he's going to say something interesting to everybody soon. Right now he's giving the broad definition on how he does his research. I think we're waiting for his findings.
9:34 Paula Tutman:
He says prior to 2010 there really wasn’t ‘real’ or reliable , quantifiable research done on same-sex families. The samples were too small. They were done with soft measures which means the results weren’t repeatable or able to be replicated. This sets us up for his studies in which he has devised the ‘scale’ in which to make these studies repeatable. Reliable and for all intent and purposes the results are able to stand up to challenge . Hope that makes sense. He's done about 60 studies.
9:35 Paula Tutman:
So we're still vetting right now. Attorney Heyse is still trying to put the weight and "power" of these studies into the record to set them up to withstand a challenge.
9:48 Paula Tutman:
Dr. Allen says that studies prior to 2010 should be considered preliminary. There’s limited data. He says biased samples are being used. Sometimes its politicized. He says researchers prior to 2010 appeared to have their own agendas.
Plain English: He saying these previous studies indicate that there are no different outcomes with children in same sex marriages. He doesn’t believe the consensus is warranted. He’s saying the previous studies were flawed. So here’s the meat of the issue. He is saying that consensus on previous studies that there are “no measurable outcomes” are flawed.
He says the outcomes he sees shows the IS a difference in child outcomes in same-sex marriages. That’s what he has found in his studies.
9:50 Paula Tutman:
So we’re talking about a study that was done in 2010 called the Rosenfeld study. Rosenfeld is the study being challenged right now. In the Rosenfeld study... Allen says Rosenfeld found no difference in progress in school. Allen says the interpretation of the Rosenfeld study is wrong...he (Rosenfeld) was interpreting statistical data.
Still with me?
9:51 Paula Tutman:
Dr. Allen is now explaining what he sees as the flaws in a study that was considered "watershed". He is now challenging the validity in the findings of that Rosenfeld report.
10:02 Paula Tutman:
Allen says: A lot of these children are arriving there from a previous heterosexual coupling. So there’s a previous trauma or divorce that was in the household. He says it’s a snap shot.
Rosenfeld used a proxy variable, and his proxy is “ 5 years ago were you living in the same residence.” In the Rosenfeld study he drops people from the sample if they didn’t have the same 5 year residency. That has a huge cost because it eliminates half the sample and it turns out that the 5 year residency is correlated with same-sex households, according to Allen. When you drop the sample size, you drop the reliability of the sample, you have larger margins for errors.
Allen says, his study adds-in those dropped samples and it changes the outcome of whether or not there is a difference in the outcome of children in same-sex households.
10:05 Paula Tutman: