25 Frequently Raised Objections to Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage

People have many reasons for the beliefs that they hold. Ongoing debates about same-sex marriage have unearthed diverse perspectives and arguments, some with genuine concerns in their rationales, and others genuinely concerning as rationalizations. Wanting to filter out the real reasons from the rhetoric, I sought clarification from scientific studies, historical summaries, court cases, and legal regulations to better address the inconsistencies and misunderstandings that continually resurfaced. This compilation reviews the evidence from that research to illuminate the deeper issues.

  1. Objection: Marriage is not a civil right.{i}
    Answer: The freedom to marry the person of one’s choice is a fundamental right protected by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.[a]
  2. Objection: It will lead to marriages with dogs.{ii}
    Answer: Dogs can’t sign contracts.
  3. Objection: It will lead to polygamy.{iii}
    Answer: Same-sex marriage and polygamy differ in both the pragmatics and principles of their potential legalization. The former entails a single legislative action (repealing the gender definition imposed by the Defense of Marriage Act); the latter requires restructuring the marital relationships specified in thousands of federal and state laws. Further, the points enumerated below specifically demonstrate that gender is not relevant to the institution of marriage. They do not address number.

    If you believe that polygamy (or any other “slippery-slope” result) logically follows from same-sex marriage—whether you favor or fear such a consequence—you must present sufficient evidence and explanation to justify that argument.

  4. Objection: Most Americans oppose legalizing same-sex marriage.{iv}
    Answer: Emerging public support notwithstanding[b], protecting the rights of minorities is valuable for our entire society even if (or perhaps especially if) the majority disagrees.
  5. Objection: Gay marriage contributes to the meaninglessness of marriage and destruction of civilization.{v}
    Answer: The desire of gay couples to get married demonstrates the enduring significance of the institution. In the words of the plaintiffs in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, explaining their desires to marry, “I would be with him in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, [’til] death do us part,” and “I want it to be permanent and I don’t want any possibility of it being taken away from us.”

    Rates of marriage, divorce, and nonmarital births among heterosexuals continued along existing trends after legally recognizing same-sex unions in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and the Netherlands.[c] Since legalizing same-sex marriage in 2004, Massachusetts has experienced absolute or relative declines compared to the rest of the U.S. in its already-low rates of divorce, crime, poverty, teen pregnancy, and school dropouts.

  6. Objection: Gay couples are less able or likely to stay in long-term relationships.
    Answer: Data show that same-sex couples are equivalent to opposite-sex couples in relationship quality and stability.[d] But such data are not necessary for justifying their right to get married: we do not withhold marriage licenses from divorcees or members of groups likely to get divorces, in spite of their history or demographics.
  7. Objection: Marriage has traditionally always been between a man and a woman.{vi}
    Answer: Scholars of history, anthropology, and sociology have described evidence of socially-recognized same-sex unions across multiple cultures and time periods.[e] In the U.S., the tradition of marriage has assumed many different configurations and changed over time, previously including features such as polygamy, racial restrictions, and rigid gender roles which we now reject.[f] Mere tradition cannot justify legislation.[g]
  8. Objection: Only the bond between a man and woman should be described as marriage; other arrangements can be civil unions.{vii}
    Answer: “Separate but equal” is inherently unequal.[h]
  9. Objection: Gay people can already get married, as long as it is to someone of the opposite sex; thus, restricting marriage to partners of the opposite sex doesn’t constitute unfair discrimination.{viii}
    Answer: The state of Virginia made an analogous argument in 1959, claiming that whites and non-whites alike could get married, as long as it was to someone of the same race; thus, restricting marriage to members of the same race did not constitute invidious discrimination. The Supreme Court repudiated this reasoning in 1967.[i]
  10. Objection: Same-sex marriage violates natural law.{ix}
    Answer: Mixed-race marriage was also claimed to violate natural law. In the opinion of the Virginia court: “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.” Again, the Supreme Court denied that argument in 1967.

    Note that I am not at all suggesting that anyone who invokes such natural-law arguments is demonstrating racism, bigotry, or other discriminatory beliefs. Rather, my point is that arguments based on “what is natural” are tricky to arbitrate and have been misused in the past; what seemed “natural” then is not considered legitimately “natural” now.

  11. Objection: Only opposite-sex partners are qualified to participate in the legal institution of marriage.
    Answer: According to the General Accounting Office’s analyses, none of the 1139 federal laws relevant to marriage require specific gender roles for spouses to qualify for these legal rights and benefits.[j]
  12. Objection: Men and women (or fathers and mothers) aren’t interchangeable. The roles they fill as spouses (or parents) are unique.{x}
    Answer: No two people are ever interchangeable. Their roles in a family remain unique, yet not legally constrained by gender, since our society abolished gender-based marital obligations (coverture) in the 19th and 20th centuries.
  13. Objection: The purpose of marriage is procreation.{xi}
    Answer: Infertile couples can and do get married. As Justice Scalia pointed out, “the sterile and the elderly are allowed to marry,” even though there’s no hope of their producing children.[k]

    Whether due to chromosomal infertility, androgen insensitivity syndrome, ovarian cancer, or elective vasectomy, sterility—regardless of the cause being involuntary or voluntary, congenital or acquired—still permits marriage. Heterosexual couples that can’t produce children together but could with other partners are still allowed to stay married to each other.

    In the U.S., no state or federal laws regarding marriage have ever stipulated the ability or willingness to procreate as a requirement for a valid marriage, nor has lack of procreative ability served as grounds for divorce.[l]

  14. Objection: Real marriage requires the ability to participate in heterosexual coitus; otherwise it is invalid.{xii}
    Answer: Couples can get and stay married even if they do not or cannot engage in coitus, whether by choice, an “accident of nature,” or medical misfortune, i.e., even if one partner is celibate, impotent, quadriplegic, or lacking genitalia by birth or from a botched circumcision. Whether to seek annulment is at the discretion of the marriage partners. As the court ruled in Wolfe v. Wolfe 1979, “What constitutes the ‘essentials’ of marriage cannot be expressly delineated, for what is essential to one marriage may not be equally significant to another.”[m]
  15. Objection: The only reason marriage is good for society is that it provides children.{xiii}
    Answer: Marriage laws grant many rights and responsibilities in areas relevant to childless couples (e.g., inheritance, immigration, joint insurance, judicial immunity, and bereavement). Some are designed around the expectation that the spouse will care for a married individual (e.g., medical decisionmaking, joint property, debt liabilities). Married couples—even those without children—function as stable structures by which society cares for its members. Further, marriage itself improves physiological and psychological health outcomes.[n] Marriage benefits society through the spouses’ mutual, public commitment to care for each other.
  16. Objection: Couples that produce children naturally are more worthy of marriage than couples that do not or cannot produce children naturally.{xiv}
    Answer: Less worthy or not, infertile and childless couples are still allowed to keep their marriage licenses. Also, the societal benefits granted to child-raising families are equally available for adopted as for biological children.
  17. Objection: Donor-conceived offspring have difficulty dealing with their origins.{xv}
    Answer: Multiple serious flaws in the methods, analysis, and reporting greatly undermine those conclusions.[o] Rigorous psychological and medical research shows that donor-conceived children demonstrate normal psychosocial development.[p]

    But such issues should inform policies on gamete donation, not policies on marriage: Straight couples use sperm donors too, while gay couples also adopt. Again, we don’t restrict marriage based on procreative ability or on anticipated or actual child outcomes.

  18. Objection: Children are better off in households headed by opposite-sex parents.{xvi}
    Answer: A growing body of research in psychology, sociology, and demography demonstrates otherwise.[q] What children need for optimal development is the care of two committed parents from birth, not having one of each gender.

    But even though we also know that on average, children are better off in households with particular demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, we do not restrict childrearing only to households that fit that profile. Nor do we restrict marriage based on expected or actual parenting ability.

    If you are truly concerned about the welfare of children, you would achieve a greater impact by advocating long-term adoptive placements for children in foster care, who fare much worse than children in all other family structures.

  19. Objection: Other research has concluded that children fare best with their biological mother and father.{xvii}
    Answer: Such statements mischaracterize the actual results. Those studies[r] found no difference based on parents’ genders and did not isolate the potential influence of the parent-child biological relationship (or conflated biology and sexual orientation with marital status and family stability[s]).
  20. Objection: There are scientific studies on both sides; anyone can just pick and choose studies that support their beliefs.
    Answer: Science is not merely a bunch of disagreements and different opinions among which anyone can choose their favorite. There are strict criteria for evaluating and resolving those disagreements, based on examining the methods, evidence, and explanations. Policy and opinion papers are not the same as scientific articles.

    Nor is the claim that the author is biased sufficient grounds for dismissing the findings. All people have biases, but science provides tools for controlling those biases systematically. If you believe that personal bias affected the rigor of a study, you should be able to point out where in the methods that bias exerted an effect. Scientific discussion is about what was done, not who did it.

  21. Objection: All the studies on same-sex relationships and parenting contain a “fatal flaw” and “prove nothing,” since they fail to compare large enough samples.{xviii} Common wisdom tells us that children need a mother and a father.{xix}
    Answer: Rosenfeld studied the entire population from the 2000 U.S. Census and found no difference in school progress between children of same-sex and opposite-sex parents.[t]

    Moreover, there is no “proof” in science, just evidence, accumulated across multiple methodologies and disciplines.[u] Limitations in studies that find no differences yield partial evidence, not license to deny their insights altogether, much less to conclude that differences therefore exist.

    While differences exist everywhere, not all differences are important enough or large enough to set policy. Scientific integrity demands deciding this before fishing for differences. Needing to use very large samples suggests that the difference is overwhelmed by other factors that matter more.

    Even so, using group averages to withhold basic rights from members of that group is fundamentally unfair. Individuals vary, as do the predictive models and outcome measures we might use to draw lines between groups. The issue isn’t who makes the best parents, or who’s the most likely to stay married, but that all adults deserve the right to marry the person of their choice regardless of these particular dimensions.

  22. Objection: Marriage is a religious institution.{xx}
    Answer: In the US, only some marriages are a religious institution, whereas all marriages are a civil institution, recognized and regulated by state and federal laws. Religious officiates may preside over marriages only as delegates of the state.
  23. Objection: Homosexuality is immoral according to my belief system.{xxi}
    Answer: Laws favoring a private religious or moral view are unconstitutional.[v]
  24. Objection: Legitimizing same-sex marriage favors one moral view at the expense of another and infringes on religious freedom.{xxii}
    Answer: Allowing multiple incompatible views to coexist does not advance one view over another; forbidding actualization of one view simply on the basis of disagreement does. Religious institutions remain free to decide which marriages they will recognize,[w] but not to decide which marriages the state will recognize. Thanks to the First Amendment, we all accept the reality of others practicing, expressing, and holding beliefs inconsistent with our own, so that we may enjoy the right to do the same ourselves. Free speech and religious liberty are not absolute; they are constrained and balanced by the need to respect the rights of others at the same time.
  25. Objection: Legitimizing same-sex marriage is equivalent to establishing a particular religion.
    Answer: All of the above arguments derive from legal, historical, and scientific evidence. These are fundamental components of our judicial system, which relies on previous court cases as well as expert testimony when making decisions. The only way in which these arguments are relevant to particular religious principles is in specifically protecting the freedoms of religions that oppose same-sex marriage.


Closing thoughts

So after all these objections have been addressed, what remains? Most fundamentally, these objections stem from differences in values, which may not avail themselves to persuasion on legal, historical, or scientific grounds. We respect these as private values for each individual to decide, not public values which our society legislates and enforces.

Rather, our society supports this broader public value: What makes a marriage and a family isn’t the ability—whether real or symbolic—to produce a child. It’s the lifelong commitment to care for the other partner in that marriage and the people in the families created and joined by that marriage. §


References for Objections
These references are intended as illustrative examples of objections that arose during personal discussions. I have chosen to focus on the most recurrent or resistant misunderstandings I have encountered, rather than addressing every single one that appears on these pages.

{i} Hicks, R. (2006, October). The cultural argument against gay marriage. ByFaith. Retrieved from http://byfaithonline.com/page/in-the-world/the-cultural-argument-against-gay-marriage

Duncan, W.C. (2011). International courts on marriage: Is gay marriage a fundamental right? Research Brief, 4(4). Manassas VA: Institute for Marriage and Public Policy. Retrieved from http://www.marriagedebate.com/pdf/iMAPP.June2011-International-Courts.pdf

{ii} “After all, if two men or two women can marry… then why not humans and animals?” In: Catholic Answers. (2004). Gay marriage. Retrieved from http://www.catholic.com/library/gay_marriage.asp

Bill O’Reilly’s continuing obsession with inter-species marriages. (2005, September 16). MediaMatters for America. Retrieved from http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/200509160009

Dobson: Same-sex marriage would lead to “marriage between daddies and little girls … between a man and his donkey.” (2005, October 7). MediaMatters for America. Retrieved from http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/200510070004

{iii} “Legalization of same-sex marriage… would open the door to group marriage, polygamy, bestiality, and whatever other permutations the imagination can invent.” In: Catholic Answers. (2004). Gay marriage. Retrieved from http://www.catholic.com/library/gay_marriage.asp

Huckabee: Gay marriage akin to incest, polygamy. (2010, April 13). CBS News. Retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/04/13/politics/main6392066.shtml

{iv} Blackwell, K. (2011, August 7). Let the people decide marriage issues. The American Thinker. Retrieved from http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/08/let_the_people_decide_marriage_issues.html

{v} “When men and women fail to form stable marriages, [it results in] terrible social needs [such as] crime, poverty, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, school failure, mental and physical health problems. … [Legalizing gay marriage] means losing American civilization.” In: Gallagher, M. (2003, July 14). The stakes: Why we need marriage. National Review. Retrieved from http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/207483/stakes/maggie-gallagher#

Kurtz, S. (2004, February 2). The end of marriage in Scandinavia: The “conservative case” for same-sex marriage collapses. The Weekly Standard. Retrieved from http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/660zypwj.asp

{vi} “The purpose of marriage has always been to unite a man and a woman…. Thus marriage has occurred since the beginning of time and in every culture.” In: Corbett, A. (2009, August 1). Circling around the marriage square: Why marriage is between a man and woman. Finding Truth Matters. Retrieved from http://www.findingtruthmatters.org/articles/same-sex-marriage/

{vii} Nesi, T. (2011, April 15). Watson: Civil unions, not gay marriage, could pass. WPRI Eyewitness News. Retrieved from http://blogs.wpri.com/2011/04/15/watson-civil-unions-not-gay-marriage-could-pass/

{viii} “They can marry a member of the opposite sex if they so choose, just like I have done. I can’t marry a member of my own sex, even if I wanted to. So, we have the exact same rights.” In: Thompson, E. (2004, February 18). The argument against gay marriages. AuthorsDen. Retrieved from http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewArticle.asp?id=13199

{ix} Vélez, J.R. (2008, December 24). Commentary: Is there a natural right to same-sex marriage? Catholic Online. Retrieved from http://www.catholic.org/politics/story.php?id=31255

Lee, P., & George, R.P. (1997). What sex can be: Self-alienation, illusion, or one-flesh unity. American Journal of Jurisprudence, 42, 135-157.

{x} Prager, D. (2010, August 17). Making gender irrelevant. National Review. Retrieved from http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/243922/making-gender-irrelevant-dennis-prager#

{xi} Somerville, M. (2011, July 28). Focus on same-sex marriage: The case against. MercatorNet. Retrieved from http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/the_case_against_same-sex_marriage/

{xii} Lee, P., & George, R.P. (2008). What male-female complementarity makes possible: Marriage as a two-in-one-flesh union. Theological Studies, 69, 641-662. [html]

Girgis, S., George, R.P., & Anderson, R.T. (2010). What is marriage? Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, 34 (1), 245-287. [pdf]

{xiii} “The role of the heterosexual union in creating a government’s citizenry is the only compelling reason for a free people to require their government to recognize a marital union.” In: Morabito, S. (2010, August 15). Next comes singles challenging traditional marriage in court. Washington Examiner. Retrieved from http://washingtonexaminer.com/node/467751

{xiv} “Couples who simply choose not to have children… [are distorting] the relationship between husband and wife [and] harming their unity as spouses.” In: Catholic Answers. (2004). Gay marriage. Retrieved from http://www.catholic.com/library/gay_marriage.asp

Kolasinski argues that it is costly, impossible, and not worthwhile to restrict sterile, childless-by-choice, and elderly couples from marrying, even though the purpose of the institution of marriage is procreation. In: Kolasinski, A. (2004, February 17). The secular case against gay marriage. The Tech. Retrieved from http://tech.mit.edu/V124/N5/kolasinski.5c.html

According to Douglas Allen, economics professor at Simon Fraser University, “infertile couples are ‘freeriders’ on the institution of marriage, because they do not negatively impact heterosexual couples.” As quoted in: Sola, K. (2011, February 18). Panelists debate gay marriage. The Brown Daily Herald. Retrieved from http://www.browndailyherald.com/panelists-debate-gay-marriage-1.2473923

{xv} Marquardt, E., Glenn, N.D., & Clark, K. (2010). My daddy’s name is donor: A new study of young adults conceived through sperm donation. New York: Institute for American Values. Retrieved from http://familyscholars.org/my-daddys-name-is-donor-2/

{xvi} Gallagher, M., & Baker, J.K. (2004). Do mothers and fathers matter? The social science evidence on marriage and child well-being. Washington DC: Institute for Marriage and Public Policy. Retrieved from http://www.marriagedebate.com/pdf/MothersFathersMatter.pdf

Popenoe, D. (1996). Life without father: Compelling new evidence that fatherhood and marriage are indispensable for the good of children and society. New York: The Free Press.

{xvii} Blankenhorn, D. (2008, September 19). Protecting marriage to protect children. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-blankenhorn19-2008sep19,0,6057126.story

Witherspoon Institute. (2008). Marriage and the public good: Ten principles. Princeton NJ. Retrieved from http://www.winst.org/family_marriage_and_democracy/WI_Marriage.pdf

Sprigg, P. (2011, February 15). Federal report confirms “nuclear family” best for children’s health. The Christian Post. Retrieved from http://www.manhattandeclaration.org/the-movement/latest-updates/11-02-16/Federal_Report_Confirms_Nuclear_Family_Best_for_Children_s_Health.aspx

Malcolm, A. (2011, July 20). Defense of Marriage Act hearing turns comical thanks to Sen. Al Franken. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2011/07/defense-of-marriage-act-hearing-turns-comical-thanks-to-al-franken.html

{xviii} Affidavit of Steven Nock in Halpern v. Canada (2003).

Lerner, R., & Nagai, A.K. (2001). No basis: What the studies don’t tell us about same-sex parenting. Washington, D.C.: Marriage Law Project. Retrieved from http://marriagelaw.cua.edu/publications/nobasis.pdf

{xix} Kolasinski, A. (2004, February 17). The secular case against gay marriage. The Tech. Retrieved from http://tech.mit.edu/V124/N5/kolasinski.5c.html

{xx} Clark, M.H. (2004, April 3). What we believe about the sacrament of marriage. Catholic Courier. Retrieved from http://www.catholiccourier.com/commentary/bishops-column/what-we-believe-about-the-sacrament-of-marriage/

{xxi} Lee, P., & George, R.P. (2008). What male-female complementarity makes possible: Marriage as a two-in-one-flesh union. Theological Studies, 69, 641-662. [html]

Anderson, R.T. (2009, July 3). Robert P. George on the struggle over marriage. Public Discourse: Ethics, Law, and the Common Good. Retrieved from http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2009/07/381

Tobin, T.J. (n.d.) Gay marriage is gravely immoral. Retrieved August 21, 2011, from http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=7238

{xxii} The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (2008, August 13). The divine institution of marriage. Retrieved from http://newsroom.lds.org/article/the-divine-institution-of-marriage

Sprigg, P. (2011, June 17). Gay marriage at odds with U.S. liberties. Family Research Council. Retrieved from http://www.frc.org/op-eds/gay-marriage-at-odds-with-us-liberties


References for Answers

[a] Meyer v. Nebraska , 262 U.S. 390 (1923); Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965); Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967); Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur, 414 U.S. 632 (1974); Zablocki v. Redhail, 434 U.S. 374 (1978); Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78 (1987).

[b] Newport, F. (2011, May 20). For first time, majority of Americans favor legal gay marriage. Gallup. Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com/poll/147662/first-time-majority-americans-favor-legal-gay-marriage.aspx

[c] Badgett, M.V.L. (2004, May 20). Prenuptial jitters: Did gay marriage destroy heterosexual marriage in Scandinavia? Slate. Retrieved from http://www.slate.com/id/2100884/

Badgett, M.V.L. (2004). Will providing marriage rights to same-sex couples undermine heterosexual marriage? Sexuality Research and Social Policy: Journal of NSRC, 1(3), 1-10.

[d] Carpenter, C., & Gates, G.J. (2008). Gay and lesbian partnership: Evidence from California. Demography, 45(3), 573-590. doi: 10.1353/dem.0.0014 [html]

Peplau, L.A., & Fingerhut, A.W. (2007). The close relationships of lesbians and gay men. Annual Review of Psychology, 58, 405-424. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.58.110405.085701 [pdf]

[e] Hinsch, B. (1992). Passions of the cut sleeve: The male homosexual tradition in China. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Roscoe, W. (2000). Changing ones: Third and fourth genders in native North America. New York: Palgrave.

Roscoe, W., & Murray, S.O. (Eds.). (2001). Boy-wives and female-husbands: Studies in African homosexualities. NewYork: Palgrave.

Tulchin, A.A. (2007). Same-sex couples creating households in old regime France: The uses of the affrèrement. The Journal of Modern History, 79(3), 613-647. [summary]

Vanita, R. (2004). ‘Wedding of two souls’: Same-sex marriage and Hindu traditions. Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 20(2), 119-135.

[f] Coontz, S. (2005). Marriage, a history: From obedience to intimacy, or how love conquered marriage. New York: Viking.

Cott, N. (2000). Public vows: A history of marriage and the nation. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

[g] Williams v. Illinois, 399 U.S. 235 (1970); Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996); Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003).

[h] Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954); Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241).

[i] Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967).

[j] The General Accounting Office tabulated and examined 1049 such laws in 1997 and 1139 in 2004.

[k] Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003).

[l] Expert testimony given by historian Nancy Cott in Perry v. Schwarzenegger 2010.

[m] Wolfe v. Wolfe, 76 Ill. 92, 389 N.E.2d 1143 (1979).

[n] Schoenborn, C.A. (2004). Marital status and health: United States, 1999–2002. Advance data from vital and health statistics, 351. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics.

[o] Most worrisome is the use of an unvalidated survey instrument with strongly biased question wording. Other major problems include flawed statistical analyses (inappropriate use of multiple significance tests), not accounting for margins of error, and misunderstanding the meaning of statistical significance (e.g., reporting differences which were found not to be significant). More deeply, the report conflates the practice of donor insemination with issues surrounding the nature and timing of parental disclosure, donor anonymity, parents’ experience with infertility, number of parents, and family structure. These are important issues, but this is not the way to study them.

[p] Chan, R.W., Raboy, B., & Patterson, C.J. (1998). Psychosocial adjustment among children conceived via donor insemination by lesbian and heterosexual mothers. Child Development, 69(2), 443-457. [pdf]

Golombok, S., & MacCallum, F. (2003) Practitioner review: Outcomes for parents and children following non-traditional conception: what do clinicians need to know? Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 44(3), 303-315. doi: 10.1111/1469-7610.00123

Hahn, C.S. (2001). Review: Psychosocial well-being of parents and their children born after assisted reproduction. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 26(8), 525-538. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/26.8.525 [abstract]

[q] Popenoe’s book (Life Without Father, 1996) did not examine same-sex parenting, as he acknowledged: “Unfortunately, we do not yet have good data about the child outcomes of these same-sex arrangements” (p. 147). Recent studies and reviews have found that overall, children of same-gender and opposite-gender parents are comparable in psychological well-being, social adjustment, peer relationships, and school progress:

Biblarz, T.J., & Stacey, J. (2010). How does the gender of parents matter? Journal of Marriage and Family, 72(1), 3-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2009.00678.x [summary]

Rosenfeld, M.J. (2010). Nontraditional families and childhood progress through school. Demography, 47(3), 755-775. doi: 10.1353/dem.0.0112 [summary] [pdf]

Tasker, F. (2005). Lesbian mothers, gay fathers, and their children: A review. Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 26(3), 224 – 240.

[r] Blackwell, D.L. (2010). Family structure and children’s health in the United States: Findings from the National Health Interview Survey, 2001–2007. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 10(246). [pdf]

Manning, W.D., & Lamb, K.A. (2003). Adolescent well-being in cohabiting, married, and single-parent families. Journal of Marriage & Family, 65, 876-893. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2003.00876.x/ [abstract]

Moore, K.A., Jekielek, S.M., & Emig, C. (2002). Marriage from a child’s perspective: How does family structure affect children, and what can we do about it? Research Brief. Washington, DC: Child Trends. [pdf]

Parke, M. (2003). Are married parents really better for children? What research says about the effects of family structure on child well-being. Couples and Marriage Research and Policy Brief. Washington, DC: Center for Law and Social Policy. [pdf]

[s] Regnerus, M. (2012). How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study. Social Science Research, 41(4), 752-770. doi: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2012.03.009

[t] Rosenfeld, M.J. (2010). Nontraditional families and childhood progress through school. Demography, 47(3), 755-775. doi: 10.1353/dem.0.0112 [summary] [pdf]

[u] Affidavit of Judith Stacey & Timothy Biblarz in Halpern v. Canada (2003). Retrieved from http://www.sgmlaw.com/media/PDFs/Stacy.pdf

[v] Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947); U.S. Dept. of Agriculture v. Moreno, 413 U.S. 528 (1973); Palmore v Sidoti, 466 U.S. 429 (1984); Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996); Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003).

[w] For a fuller discussion, see: Levy, R.A. (2011, August 15). Marriage equality: religious freedom, federalism, and judicial activism. Supreme Court of the United States Blog. Retrieved from http://www.scotusblog.com/2011/08/marriage-equality-religious-freedom-federalism-and-judicial-activism/


© Copyright 2011 Norma Ming. All rights reserved.

Updated from 23 Frequently Raised Objections to Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage.

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