paul’s words

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In its brief to the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, Utah argues that its constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage protects children. From “less fit” parents?

But “Amendment 3” doesn’t prohibit same-sex couples from raising children; it’s about sex, and it prohibits marriage, not children. (Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes says that Utah law gives same-sex couples the right to raise children.)

Utah also worries that allowing same-sex marriage would “tend to encourage more parents to raise their biological children without the other biological parent”. Doesn’t divorce do that?

Utah’s ban works, they say, as reflected in a lower rate of unwed births, lower poverty rates for children, and a higher percentage of children raised by both parents. What do those numbers say about the 31 other states with similar bans? Is it the law or is it the culture?

But assume that Utah is right that children raised by heterosexual couples are “better off” than those raised by same-sex couples. And further assume that Utah prevails in the current case before the 10th Circuit. What would stop Utah from not only prohibiting same-sex partners from marrying but also prohibiting them from raising children? Will they prohibit single women from raising children, too? Who will tell the widow of the Utah County Deputy Sheriff shot and killed in the line of duty, that she must either find a new husband or relinquish the children to Utah’s Child Protective Services for “proper” parents? The real problem for single mothers is poverty, not their single-ness.

There is no evidence to support the notion that same-sex couples are not “fit” to raise children, even if that’s what this case is about.

W. Paul Wharton