Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit of San Francisco heard arguments for and against Prop 8, the California ban on same-sex marriages.
This August, a lower district judge, Vaughn Walker, ruled the ban — which passed in California by 52 percent — violated constitutional rights to equal protection and due process.
Today, lawyers who appealed that ruling and want the ban re-instated had as one of their central arguments that gay marriage is, essentially, bad for society.
The New York Times captured an exchange between a judge and a lawyer arguing that a gay marriage was bad for us all:
Judge Hawkins, appointed by Clinton, asked why it was okay for the people of California to take away gay marriage rights — would it be okay for Californians to reinstate school segregation by a public vote?
Charles Cooper, the lead lawyer for the ban, said that it was different, because racial segregation has no benefits for the state. But banning gay marriage is in our interest, he said — men and women being married is good for society because it promotes procreation, and marriage makes it less likely that babies will be born to single moms.
The Judge, skeptical of this line of reasoning, said, “That sounds like a good argument for prohibiting divorce.” Laugher in the courtroom.
The idea of banning gay marriage to encourage traditional marriages so that we make more kids? I’m confused by that logic. Do Prop 8 proponents think that if gay couples can’t legally marry, they’ll opt for the opposite sex instead? The idea seems to still linger that if you don’t openly accept that some is gay, they’ll change their mind.
Here’s my take: gay marriage is good for the health and wellbeing of families. Not that I need research to back this up, but this year we have seen results of studies that show kids from same-sex couples are equally happy, well adjusted, and successful as their peers from opposite-sex marriages.
The key to happy families and thriving kids is to have loving parents — ones who also love each other and model that for their children. Our kids’ attachment systems are flexible, and they don’t need a mom and a dad. They need safe, consistent, nurturing caregivers — male or female, biological or adopted.
So prop 8 is bad for families. And society.
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