Friday, April 11, 2014

[US] - "Utah backs away from anti-gay-parenting study" by Dale Carpenter

Last night, on the eve of oral argument today in Kitchen v. Herbert, the Tenth Circuit challenge to Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage, the state filed an unusual letter distancing itself from a controversial study that questioned the parenting abilities of gay men and lesbians in comparison to married biological fathers and mothers. The state had cited the study, produced by University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus, in two footnotes in its opening brief to the court submitted earlier this year. In light of what Utah called “recent press reports and analysis” of the Regnerus paper (presumably including a federal district court decision dismissing Regnerus’s views as ”not worthy of serious consideration”), the state thought it important to “supplement” its initial brief in two respects.

First, Utah said that its “principal concern” in the same-sex marriage litigation is that allowing gay couples to wed might harm “the children of heterosexual parents.” (emphasis original) In other words, the state is not claiming that allowing same-sex marriage might somehow harm the children of gay couples. The comparison of outcomes for children in same-sex couple households and opposite-sex couple households, argued the state, “has little if any bearing on” the welfare of children being raised by opposite-sex couples “given that being raised in a same-sex household would normally not be one of the alternatives available to children of heterosexual parents.”  The unstated corollary is that being raised by a married biological mother and father would not normally be one of the alternatives available to children of same-sex parents.

Read More at Washington Post

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