Sunday, February 16, 2014

Twitter Debate Follow-up

This began here.

Last night, my twitter correspondent responded here. I have cut and pasted that response below for easier reading and I continue the discussion here because it's easier to link to things in a post than it is to reply in the comment section.
I agree that Twitter isn't conducive to thorough conversation. This was a good idea to move it here
I agree that disagreeing with someone doesn't make one a bad person. I am sure you are very sincere in your belief. I have found you to be very charitable, and for that I am thankful.
Concerning your claims about adoption rates, since heterosexual couples are the vast majority of adoptive parents, I doubly rates would ever vary much.
Concerning fertility drugs, gay couple still cannot have biological kids. Only one half of the couple can have one. The same is not true for heterosexual couples, so there's what I was referring to.
Heterosexual people should be allowed to remarry by the star because they are procreate. Therefore, the state would have an interest. The same cannot be said for homosexual relationships.
I would be interested in perusing the studies you claim exist. Please point me in the right direction.
I have made no appeal to faith in our discussion. It since you brought it up, I will respond. Just because someone may not follow their faith perfectly all the time doesn't mean they are wrong to profess the value of following it. Nor does it invalidate the truth of their faith.
I am more than happy to continue our conversation. I will leave it up to you.
Hello, and thank you for your additional response.

I guess the first thing I would ask you is - on what authority do you base your assumptions? For example, your doubt that adoption "rates would ever vary much" or that it is "not true" for heterosexual couples to experience instances where only one half of the couple is biologically related to their children?

I agree with you that the vast majority of adoptive parents are heterosexual because statistically there are simply more heterosexuals in our country. This makes perfect sense. It doesn't, however, provide a basis for precluding homosexuals from adopting.

Your reference to it not being true for heterosexual couples to experience instances where only one half of the couple is biologically related to their children is also invalid. I certainly grant you the technical truth to what you are implying - only sperm from a man can bond with the ovum of a woman to create a child. And, of course, the child that results from that exchange (which usually occurs via the sex act between the man and woman, but not always) is biologically related to both of these individuals. (And I've already agreed with you that both parents raising the child is statistically shown to be optimal for the child).

What we know from statistics and a study from the CDC, however, is that this is not happening among heterosexuals. Instead, nearly half of all heterosexual marriages in the US (and this is limited to heterosexuals because only heterosexuals can marry in the vast majority of our country) end in dissolution. This fact, combined with long-term increases in childbearing outside of marriage, have led to the occurrence of "multiple-partner fertility," which is simply a fancy way of saying "having biological children with more than one partner." This is what heterosexuals are doing in ever-increasing numbers. As a result, in a large number of families in the US, children are being raised by heterosexual parents, one of whom is not biologically related to the child.

Finally, marriage between people of the same sex is currently not allowed in most of the country, as I've said. Yet, there are clearly a whole lot of homosexuals running around (although some, like me, are usually on the couch). Where do you think these gay people come from? My parents, for example, have been married nearly fifty years. They are clearly heterosexual. I am biologically related to both of them and to my two brothers. They are devout Catholics and I was raised that way my entire life. Yet, here I am. GAY. It is not the entirety of who I am, just as my parents' heterosexuality is not the entirety of who they are.

Will married, faithful, heterosexual, biological parents continue having gay children? Yes. Will homosexuals, if allowed to marry, likely also have gay children? I don't know, but I would assume so since statistics tell us that anywhere from five to ten percent of the population identifies as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is the issue of parents and your question about the studies I reference to support the idea that children raised by same-sex couples are no less psychologically healthy and well-adjusted than children of heterosexual parents.

Support for this truth can be found in the reasoning laid out by the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics et al,  in the Amici Curiae brief filed on behalf of Karen Golinski in the Golinski v. US Office Pers. Mgmt case and in the American Sociological Association's Amicus Curiae brief from the US v. Windsor case decided last year by the Supreme Court.

I cite to these briefs because they empirically lay out scientific support for their findings, it's easily linkable, and they contain additional resource material you may wish to look into for further insight. The bottom line is that more than thirty years of research shows us that children of same-sex parents fare just as well as children of heterosexual parents.

Moreover, the links debunk studies touted by sources like the Family Research Council, particularly the Regenerus study from 2012 , notably because Regenerus acknowledges he performed an "apples to oranges" study in that his comparisons involved biological children of heterosexual parents who were still married to each other as compared with adolescents and adults from divorced households who recalled being raised at times by one parent who sometimes identified as homosexual and/or bisexual. In other words, Regenerus did not examine, and provides no conclusions regarding, the wellbeing of children who lived with and were raised by same-sex parents. Since that is the case, I don't see how citation to his study can ever be credible support for the proposition that same-sex parents are bad for kids.

And I guess that leads me to the crux of our exchange, which is your opinion that marriage is for the preservation of society and is the best way to raise children:

If you believe that, then I don't understand why you would think it somehow good to deny the children of same-sex couples the protections and stability they would enjoy if their parents could marry. It's a fact we agree on - children who are raised by married parents benefit from the social and legal status that civil marriage conveys to their parents. Denying that right to some children because their parents happen to be same-sex does nothing to bolster or protect heterosexual marriage (and it also doesn't harm such marriages). Instead, it merely hurts the children of same-sex parents.

As the Supreme Court said in Windsor, the same-sex marriage ban
humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same sex couples. The law in question makes it even more difficult for the children to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives.
For sure, most kids of gay parents aren't consciously thinking about such things. But, as the Court notes, they are impacted emotionally and cognitively. They're also impacted legally and financially. Just off the top of my head, there are tangible instances where the denial of the right to marry harms same-sex households:

  • Tax and property issues
  • The child's intestate rights and issues related to intestate succession
  • Healthcare decisions
  • Child support and parental rights
  • Community property rights
  • Wrongful death actions
  • Evidentiary privilege issues
  • Divorce issues and spousal support

The arguments you laid out via twitter are the same arguments states across the country are making in response to challenges from same-sex couples that the denial of their right to marry is unconstitutional. Just as you did with me on twitter, Attorneys General from all over are arguing that "marriage is good for children" and the state has an interest in "supporting the family" and "promoting procreation between married couples."

In response, courts are routinely saying - if that's true, how can we deny the same support for those same-sex couples with children who wish to wed? In other words, if marriage, as the state argues, is good for children, it's irrational to deny the gay parents of children the right to marry. More importantly, it violates the law.

(If your argument is that because BOTH people in the couple are not the biological parents to the child(ren) they are not entitled to be married, does that mean you think the children of same-sex couples are not on par with the children from heterosexual parents and therefore are undeserving of the same rights, privileges and benefits those children enjoy? If so, what about kids in families where the parents are remarried and one is not the biological parent to all the kids in the household? Or people who never have kids. Or can't have kids. Or don't want to have kids. See the distinction?)

Indeed, since Windsor, five federal courts have sided with marriage equality. Texas is next to decide. I'm not getting my hopes up, but I will keep my fingers crossed.

Finally, you mention that you didn't appeal to faith during our exchange and that I'm the one who brought it up. You're right about that. I was just trying to say that actions speak louder than words. I agree with you that just because we may fail at times in our faith walk, it doesn't negate the value of following the faith.

I hope this is helpful.


  1. I base my claim concerning adoption rates on the fact that the overwhelming majority of adoptive parents are heterosexual. I never said that there is no such thing as step parents . I'm not sure how you got that idea.

    I never said that the number of heterosexual couples adopting is a good reason to preclude homosexual couples.

    The reason I said that heterosexual couples should be allowed to remarry is because they have the potential to procreate. That's why the state should support such unions. Having said that, I do have a problem with how easy it get a divorce. No fault divorce is a tragedy that hurts children.

    I have an issue with the report you referenced. It seems to not distinguish between children raised by their biological parents, and those raised biological parent and one step parent. With this in mind,.I don't accept the report as germane to our discussion.

    I am not merely saying that marriage is the best way to raise children. I am also saying that living with both biological parents is best. And I am especially saying that homosexual unions do not meet the definition of a marriage. I reject gay marriage like I reject squared circles.

    Gay marriage is not required for most of the "rights" you mention. Of the ones that do require a marriage, any family member can sue for wrongful death.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    1. No questions dsjpk55. We just disagree. And that's ok. Cheers and best wishes to you!

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation and wish you nothing but the best in all your future endeavors!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...