Post Classifieds

UCF ignores FOIA request

By Melissa Catalanotto
On November 20, 2013

A federal judge has ordered UCF to release documents involved in a same-sex parenting study, but UCF has obtained legal counsel in efforts to block the release.

More than 50,000 documents relating to the parenting study, which appeared in Social Science Research — a publication housed at UCF — have been requested, but not submitted.

The study was done by Mark Regnerus, a sociology professor at the University of Texas.

It suggested that children of heterosexual couples are better off than children of same-sex couples.

A press release from the Human Rights Campaign said it is a “clear outlier” of studies that suggest that it is not true.

The press release said the study featured heterosexual couples in committed, long-term relationships and failed to include similar same-sex couples.

John Becker, an LGBT activist and an investigative writer, filed a Freedom of Information Act request with UCF in March after the Huffington Post showed documents that suggested that the study was funded by conservative groups.

Becker suggested on his website that the funders had an “anti-gay agenda,” mentioning how the study was cited to the U.S. Supreme Court by opponents of same-sex marriage in relation to Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, which were both struck down by the court in June.

UCF denied the FOIA request in April, which was then followed by Becker joining forces with the civil rights attorneys Andrea Flynn Mogensen and Victor Chapman.

Subsequently, the attorneys attempted to have the records released using the Florida Sunshine Law.

According to the press release, Judge Donald Grincewicz ruled on Nov. 13 that UCF had to release emails and documents related to the peer-review process of the study to Becker, but late last week, the university retained legal counsel and ignored the ruling.

“What is UCF hiding? And why are they fighting tooth and nail – spending taxpayer dollars in the process – to keep these public records under seal?" Becker said in the press release.

Grincewicz recused himself from the case, according to the release, so an Orlando appellate court has granted a stay until a new judge is appointed.

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