An LGBT activist, writer and blogger on Tuesday filed a public records lawsuit against the University of Central Florida’s Board of Trustees and President Dr. John C. Hitt, according to a press release.
John Becker filed the lawsuit against UCF seeking access to public records relating to a research paper by Mark Regnerus. The research paper, which was cited in briefs and at oral arguments before the Supreme Court last month, suggests gay marriage could have negative effects towards children. Becker said the paper has been criticized as having possible conflicts of interest.
“My interest in filing this Sunshine Law Request is to discover the truth about the peer review and publishing of the Regnerus paper, which is unknown at this point,” said Becker. “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 research paper at issue. Many of the records relating to the matter are being held on servers at UCF, according to a press release.
Becker claims his request for public records was denied by UCF on April 1, 2013. The lawsuit was filed in the Ninth Judicial Circuit, Orange County, Orlando, Florida.
“Our policy is to comply with Florida’s important open records laws,” Grant Heston, Associate Vice President, Communications & Public Affairs, said. “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.”
This public records lawsuit comes just after an unrelated recent Knight News lawsuit which seeks to remedy public records request violations as well as Sunshine Law violations involving UCF. That case is still pending.
A copy of Becker’s lawsuit against UCF is below: