Ryan Anderson on Reasoning for Marriage


Ryan Anderson at Heritage's Foundry blog writes an extensive examination of the bad reasons being used to redefine 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.