The past weeks' political conventions have once again brought home how deeply divided our country is when it comes to the issues of gay marriage and gay parenting. Feelings are so strong that their intensity can blind people to important issues of principle. That's why it's important to know that last week, the University of Texas at Austin announced that it had found no evidence that Professor Mark Regnerus had engaged in scientific misconduct when he published a paper that has been used to bolster the arguments of those opposed to same-sex parenting.
Regardless of your views on gay and lesbian parenting (FIRE, where I work, has no position on this topic and never will), it's important that social scientists be able to study those families just as they do any others. The scientific misconduct inquiry at the University of Texas threatened to put this ability at risk.