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  • Reasoning for Marriage

    The majority of Americans think it best to keep civil marriage as the union of a man and a woman. But a handful of judges have overruled the reasonable judgments and will of the people and their elected representatives, claiming that animus and anti-gay bigotry underlie such conclusions.

    For example, Judge Joseph Tauro, a federal district court judge in Boston, when he ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional, explained that “Congress undertook this classification for the one purpose that lies entirely outside of legislative bounds, to disadvantage a group of which it disapproves. And such a classification the Constitution clearly will not permit.”

    In striking down traditional marriage laws, courts frequently appeal to the authority of social science. Consider the opinion of Judge Vaughn Walker. In the case that overturned California’s state marriage amendment Proposition 8, he included as a “finding of fact” that “children raised by gay or lesbian parents are as likely as children raised by heterosexual parents to be healthy, successful and well-adjusted. The research supporting this conclusion is accepted beyond serious debate in the field of developmental psychology.”

    Only it isn’t accepted. Or, at least, it shouldn’t be. The jury is still out. That’s the message of two new peer-reviewed articles out last week in the academic journal Social Science Research. While much attention has focused on Mark Regnerus’s New Family Structures Study (NFSS), it is important not to overlook the work of Loren Marks. Marks reviewed all 59 studies that the American Psychological Association relied on when it issued a brief in 2005 embracing the conclusion that there are “no differences” in outcomes for children from same-sex parenting and traditional moms and dads. Here’s Marks’s conclusion:

    Not one of the 59 studies referenced…compares a large, random, representative sample of lesbian or gay parents and their children with a large, random, representative sample of married parents and their children. The available data, which are drawn primarily from small convenience samples, are insufficient to support a strong generalizable claim either way.

    So much for a conclusion “accepted beyond serious debate.”

    The Regnerus study—a large, random, and representative sample of various family structures, including parents who had gay or lesbian relationships—also challenges the conventional wisdom. Ana Samuel explains his conclusion:

    Taken together, the findings of the NFSS disprove the claim that there are no differences between children raised by parents who have same-sex relationships and children raised in intact, biological, married families when it comes to the social, emotional, and relational outcomes of their children.… The “no differences” claim is therefore unsound and ought to be replaced by an acknowledgement of difference.

    As DOMA and Prop 8 head to the Supreme Court next term, Matt Franck sees these studies as supporting the reasonable judgments of citizens and their representatives who have voted to retain the historic definition of marriage:

    For the plainly rational basis of traditional marriage laws is strongly supported by the studies of Professors Marks and Regnerus. As the Perry case on Prop 8, and related litigation on the Defense of Marriage Act, reach the Supreme Court, the counsels of good social science can be added to the standard norms of constitutionalism to counsel against the willful judicial invention of a right to same-sex marriage.

    The studies published last week are further evidence that Americans have come to the conclusion that marriage is a union of man and woman with good reason. And they provide one more reason for the Supreme Court to uphold judgments about marriage that have been expressed by the American people through the political process.

    Posted in Culture [slideshow_deploy]

    14 Responses to Reasoning for Marriage

    1. John M. Stassen says:

      The NFSS is comparing apples and oranges. Many of the "gay parent" children were likely from broken, failed heterosexual marriages (there was no same-sex marriage when they were growing up), and they were compared to children from intact biological families (they didn't include failed heterosexual marriages where a parent didn't have a same-sex relationship). So it is really saying that children from broken families are at a disadvantage when compared to children from intact families — not exactly breaking news, and no justification to outlaw same-sex marriage. If children of alcoholics were shown to not do as well as children of non-alcoholics, would you outlaw marriage for alcoholics?

      • Gues says:

        The new studies disprove the claims by the homosexuals. The new studies clearly show and prove that only male/female households are what is best for children. Society must put children first and keep marriage a man and a woman. Two woman cannot be a father and two men cannot be a mother.

    2. John M. Stassen says:

      Making this about children is a red herring. The question is whether United States citizens should have the right to choose their own spouse, or if their options should be dictated by the government or "majority rule" (which may not be a majority anymore). It would be great if all biological parents would raise their own children, but no one has yet been successful legislating an ideal into reality. The reality is that legalizing same sex marriage harms no one – and denying homosexuals the right to marriage denies them and their children from essential protections afforded every other citizen.

      • Guest says:

        The United States citizens and people have the right to define marriage between a man and a woman. Marriage comes with benefits not available to single people. Benefits justified because these people can procreate while singles cannot. The issue has nothing to do with choseing your own spouse and whether or not that shoud be dictated by our government. The government is not going into homes and ripping apart living arrangements.
        Society has chosen to recognize marriage and bestow benefits on this institution so yes it does get to decide whether to recognize your spouse while at the same time respecting your living arrangement. The so called right to be with the one whom you love does not entail a right to demand government recognition or benefits. That is a priviledge and not a right. The right to be with the one whom you call your spouse does not entail a right to redefine marriage. Yes majority rules.

    3. Inis_Magrath says:

      James Wright, the editor of the journal Social Science Research in which Regnerus was published said, "children studied in this survey were raised in an era when it was legally impossible for their parents to form normal marital unions, when gay people were subjected to hostilities and prejudices of the worst imaginable sort, and where their children would have been stereotyped and vilified by their peers and others."

      In other words, even if the over-reaching so-called conclusions of that deeply flawed study are taken as reported, the ills those children of same-sex parents faced in the time period Regnerus studied would all be resolved by allowing same-sex couples to marry and thereby form stable recognized households for their children.

      Final point: children are being raised by same-sex couples. That is an irrefutable truth and fact. The Census Bureau estimates that the percentage of same-sex couples raising children has more than doubled in just 10 years, from 8 percent in 2000, to 19 percent in 2010.

      So, it is not relevant whether Ryan Anderson or Heritage Foundation, or even the majority of Americans believe that kids are better off with a mom and dad, because kids today exist and are being raised in same-sex couple households. Keeping same-sex marriage illegal will not change that.

      Given that unchangeable reality, that gay couples are raising kids, all of us should want those kids to be in as stable and nurturing an environment as possible — and that would be accomplished by allowing their adoptive parents to marry.

      • Guest says:

        No, just because a group of selfish and greedy sexual deviants put their sexual lust above children does not mean we now have to accept this. There are all kinds of laws where if someone disobeyed them does not mean we now have to legalize it. This is like saying although taking drugs is wrong there are people doing it so we have to legalize cocaine. This is faulty reasoning.
        We as a people have determined that what is best for children is for them to have a mother and a father. Just because a group of selfish adults use children as political pawns does not change the facts of the matter. Keeping same sex marriage corruption will not change that but keeping only man/woman marrigage shows us what we as a society want what is best for children.

        • Stefan says:

          Nice to see your anti-gay animus at work. It's things like what you say that proved our side right in Perry v Brown, that Prop 8 was driven by anti-gay animus.

    4. Californian says:

      1) In both legal cases sited above it was the responsibility of the defense (traditional marriage) to prove that not recognizing and banning same-sex marriage were laws with rational basis. Neither defense was able to provide any such proof.
      2) According to ABC polls (and several others), the first sentence of this article is entirely incorrect. It is also very irresponsible to publish without a specific reference.
      3) The judicial branch is doing exactly what it was designed to do. In this case, overruling legislation and a proposition which are examples of a majority voting to decide the rights of a minority without rational basis.

      • Guest says:

        No you are wrong. It is not the responsibility of the defense to prove its case. The burdon of proof is on the other side to prove their case. They had to prove how recognizing this marriage corruption will benefit all of us not just them. How do I as a single person who is not entitled to these marriage entitlements benefitting from a same sex relationship. The truth is I am not so it is a grave injustice to single people to give them benefits not entitled to me. On the other man we all benefit from man/woman marriage. I the single person in the East Coast benefits from West Coast marriages because these marriages produce offspring who pay the future entitlement taxes that I someday will rely on. Remember marriage comes with it benefits from the state as procreation incentives. Since homosexuals do not procreate they do not deserve these benefits.

    5. JeffreyRO5 says:

      It is astonishing the effort the right will go to, to stop same-sex marriage. Talk about a take-no-prisoners approach! This Regnerus "study" couldn't be more flawed, and I used to be a senior-level researcher at a very prominent research university. It's politicized junk, basically. And for what? Same-sex marriage isn't the same as same-sex parenting. Denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples does nothing to stop same-sex couples from parenting. It just forces their children to be raised outside of wedlock. Bravo, wingnuts!

      • Guest says:

        The conservatives are doing what is right for the benefit of children and society as a whole. This Regnerus study is not flawed but tells the truth. This type of parenting should not be encouraged or endorsed by society in every way. Denying marriage licenses to same sex couples does nothing to stop selfish sexually perverted adults from parenting but it does stop us from encouraging and rewarding this selfish adult desires on behalf of the children.

    6. Stephen says:

      Same sex couples cannot procreate, therefore there is no justification for same sex marriage.
      Marriage from the beginning, was intended for the survival and rearing of offspring after birth.
      To bring the child to adulthood ensuring mankinds continued sucess.

      • Guest says:

        Hey finally a comment that makes sense and one that I can agree with, not the usual homosexual activists singing their same tired songs.

      • Guest says:

        Your argument for marriage equality is rooted strictly in procreation. So my question is… if I marry the opposite sex … and don't procreate, should my rights be revoked? My marriage annulled? I lose those rights because I didn't birth babies?

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