New York rules on gay marriage

News & Politics

The NY state Supreme Court ruled that the state isn't required to recognize the civil rights of gay people, that it's a decision best left to the legislature. Howard Dean, according to Raw Story, called the ruling "bigoted and outdated" and Elliot Spitzer, leading candidate for governor of NY has put the legalization of gay marriage on his platform.

I disagree with the court on the basis of the equal protection clause, but I also admit to not having read the entirety of the ruling, so I'll concede that the majority opinion is probably more complex than I'm suggesting.

There is, however, one major error in the ruling. A statement, a crucial one, that is just plain wrong.

From the AP:

The court conceded that "the benefits of marriage are many." But the three-judge pluralitiy wrote that the Legislature could rationally decide, as a matter of social policy, that it is more important to promote the stability that marriage brings within an opposite-sex union than within same-sex unions.
In addition, it said, the Legislature could reasonably believe that "it is better, other things being equal, for children to grow up with both a mother and a father."
Actually, no, it can't.

Not reasonably anyway. According to the American Psychological Association's metastudy:
In summary, there is no evidence to suggest that lesbians and gay men are unfit to be parents or that psychosocial development among children of gay men or lesbians is compromised in any respect relative to that among offspring of heterosexual parents. Not a single study has found children of gay or lesbian parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents. Indeed, the evidence to date suggests that home environments provided by gay and lesbian parents are as likely as those provided by heterosexual parents to support and enable children's psychosocial growth.
For those who don't trust studies, perhaps the opinion of a "Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal." will do the trick. Go HERE for that perspective.

Another important historical precedent to keep in mind: The Supreme Court's ruling against the last interracial marriage bans only occurred in 1967, far from ancient history.

Incidentally, that ruling happens to be the winner of Our Nation's Most Aptly Titled Supreme Court Decision award: Loving v. Virginia. (APA)

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