3.07.2013

Children Benefit from Family Restoration Based on Marriage

Children benefit from marriage - that lifetime union of one woman and one man - as a basis for their family, as evidenced from law and culture around the globe.  Some experts, however, are suggesting that marriage expansion - expanding marriage to include other combinations of individuals than one woman and one man - is not bad for children.
When nations consider the incidents of marriage as a place to conceive and raise children, citizens seem to have a profound viewpoint change on the issue of marriage expansion.  France provides a timely international example.  Police in Paris estimated a crowd of 340,000, the largest demonstration there since 1984, protesting the French president's plan to legalize same sex marriage to allow couples to adopt and conceive children,[1] stating that they "have nothing against different ways of living, but we think that a child must grow up with a mother and a father."[2]  This debate reflects a "deep and abiding moral and ideological divide in France."[3] Colombia's position on same-sex marriage and parenting is being challenged in a lawsuit for recognition of the now-nonexistent parental rights of a non-biological partner.[4] 
Puerto Rico's Supreme Court recently upheld a law banning same-sex couples from adopting children in a best interest analysis.[5] And marriage expansion toward same gender couples is the subject of Supreme Court decisions this spring,[6] though neither case before the high court is directly about parenting choices and children, but rather rights recognition for the adults.  Others suggest that same-sex marriage has restricted parental rights and human rights in Canada, which is now ten years hence of making same-sex marriage the national law.[7] 
Now Psychology Today has published a piece on whether group marriage - or polyamory - is bad for children.  Polyamory is the natural progression of marriage expansion.  This article argues that many adults in a sexual relationship together can foster good and healthy aspects of a child's life.  You can read " Is Polyamory Bad for Children" at http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/living-single/201301/is-polyamory-bad-the-children.
Children do not need many moms and many dads all in consortium together.  Rather, a child simply needs one mother and one father to provide him or her with stability, continuity, love, respect, and a safe place to grow and thrive.   Children benefit from family restoration based on marriage most of all.




[1] Lori Hinnant, Huge Turnout in Paris for Anti-Gay-Marriage Protest, The Virginian-Pilot, Jan. 14, 2013, at 11.
[2] Id., stating "French civil unions, allowed since 1999, are at least as popular among heterosexuals as among gay and lesbian couples.  But that law has no provisions for adoption or assisted reproduction, which are at the heart of the latest debate," noting that 52% of French favor legalizing gay marriage, according to a survey released Sunday, down from as high as 65% in August.  But see also Steven Erlanger, At once Catholic and Secular, France Debates Gay Marriage, New York Times, Jan. 10, 2013, at A5 (discussing demonstrations in favor of same-sex couples and "marriage for all" legislation).
[3] Robert Saretsky, Egalite Meets Gay Marriage, New York Times, Feb. 8, 2013, at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/09/opinion/global/the-gay-marriage-debate-in-france.html?_r=0  (discussing that the heart of the matter is not over gay marriage but over gay parenting, quoting Sylvian Agacinsky: "If we truly sought what is most universal in our lives, we could go no further than the fact that 'a child can only issue from a father and mother, that is to say a man and a women.' We ignore this 'fundamental value' only at our own and society's peril, Agacinski warns. Most alarming, in her eyes, is the burgeoning market in surrogate mothers, women engaged inw hat she calls 'a commerce in human beings'.").
[4] Leiderman (the biological and gestational mother of a son and a daughter) and Botoero (her partner) are litigating the matter.  See Juan Forero, Colombia same-sex case could have regional impact, Washington Post, Aug. 12, 2012, at A10 (highlighting the legal victories homosexual parenting communities have achieved in socially conservative Latin America and discussing the women's desire for recognition).
[5] Jaclyn Clifford, Puerto Rico Supreme Court upholds same sex adoption ban, Jursit.com, Feb. 22, 2013, http://jurist.org/paperchase/2013/02/puerto-rico-supreme-court-upholds-same-sex-adoption-ban.php. (citing the opinion which is available in Spanish at http://recend.apextech.netdna-cdn.com/docs/editor/Sentencia-%20CC-2008-1010.pdf).
[6] Hollingsworth v. Perry, No. 12-144,  SCOTUS (2013)(considering the constitutional merits of California's voter approved referendum Proposition 8 defining marriage as between one man and one woman); US v. Windsor, No. 12-307, SCOTUS (2013)(considering the constitutionally of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in its definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman).  For a brief practical review of those cases see Anna Stolley Persky, Marriage Equality: Will Shift in Public Opinion Sway the Supreme Court? Washington Lawyer 18 (Feb. 2013)(discussing cultural support for same sex marriage according to Persky).  For an academic approach to each see Brief for Amici Curiae The Coalition of African American Pastors USA, the Center for Urban renewal and Education, The Frederick Douglass Foundation, Inc., and Numerous Law Professors in Support of Petitioners and Supporting Reversal, Hollingsworth v. Perry, No. 12-144,  SCOTUS (2013); and Brief for Amici Curiae Law Professors in Support of Respondent Bipartisan legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives Addressing the Merits and Supporting Reversal, U.S. v. Windsor, No. 12-307, SCOTUS (2013), both available at www.scotusblog.com.
[7] See, e.g. Bradley Miller, Same-Sex Marriage Ten Years On: Lessons from Canada, Public Discourse, Nov. 5, 2012 (regarding the reality that opposition to same-sex marriage has created a new orthodoxy that limits freedom of expression as a human right, and limited parental rights in public education due to the institutionalization of same-sex marriage in curriculum that do not allow a parent object to that information as not the best education for his or her children).

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