LGBT Activist Sues University of Central Florida to Access Controversial Research Paper

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An LGBT activist and writer filed a lawsuit against the University of Central Florida’s Board of Trustees and President Dr. John C. Hitt last week in an effort to gain access to a controversial research paper.

The paper, titled “New Family Structures Study,” was cited in briefs and at oral arguments before the Supreme Court last month. It suggests gay marriage could have negative effects on children. Activist John Becker said he made a public records request for a copy of the paper, which was denied by UCF. That led him to file suit in circuit court in Orlando.

“My interest in filing this Sunshine Law Request is to discover the truth about the peer review and publishing of the paper, which is unknown at this point,” Becker said in a media release. “Finding the truth is additionally important because the paper was prominently cited last month by opponents of same-sex marriage in briefs and arguments before the Supreme Court.”

UCF Professor James Wright is the editor of Social Science Research journal, which published the paper at issue. Many of the records relating to the matter are being held on servers at UCF, according to Becker.

“Our policy is to comply with Florida’s important open records laws,” Grant Heston, Associate Vice President, Communications & Public Affairs, told the Central Florida Future. “In this instance, these emails are not related to university business and therefore are not public documents subject to disclosure. At this time, UCF has not been served with a lawsuit.”

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