Friday, June 1, 2012

Quote of the Day

From the First Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling finding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional:
"A second rationale of a [put forth in justification of DOMA] is to support child-rearing in the context of stable marriage. The evidence as to child rearing by same-sex couples is the subject of controversy, but we need not enter the debate. Whether or not children raised by opposite-sex marriages are on average better served, DOMA cannot preclude same-sex couples in Massachusetts from adopting children or prevent a woman partner from giving birth to a child to be raised by both partners.  
Although the House Report is filled with encomia to heterosexual marriage, DOMA does not increase benefits to opposite-sex couples--whose marriages may in any event be childless, unstable or both--or explain how denying benefits to same-sex couples will reinforce heterosexual marriage. Certainly, the denial will not affect the gender choices of those seeking marriage. This is not merely a matter of poor fit of remedy to perceived problem, but a lack of any demonstrated connection between DOMA's treatment of same-sex couples and its asserted goal of strengthening the bonds and benefits to society of heterosexual marriage."
That is, if children "do best when raised by their moms and dads" really was a prime reason for enacting DOMA, then it would have been logical for DOMA to (a) have prevented same-sex couples from raising children via adoption or reproductive technologies, (b) to have provided additional incentives for men and women to marry and remain married, (c) to have provided disincentives for unstable heterosexuals to procreate, and (d) to prevent childless couples and male-female couples unable to procreate from marrying.

DOMA did not, and does not, do any of these things. It "simply" prevents those in legal, same-sex marriages from accessing the federal benefits of marriage, available to male-female married couples, on the sole basis of the sex of their partners.

 Thus, the DOMA "solution" to the "problem" that same-sex marriage allegedly presents society, namely the "deinstitutionalization of marriage," is not a rational remedy for that "problem."

 Can those who oppose SSM nonetheless agree that DOMA does not represent a good, legitimate, or logical connection toward its purported goal of strengthening the bonds between children and their biological parents?

[Cross-posted: Family Scholars Blog]

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