The LA Times has an article about the claims by three conservative justices during oral argument in the marriage equality cases that same-sex parenting is some brand new phenomenon and there is disagreement on whether it’s good for children. And the article notes that those justices are ignoring the findings of the lower court:
Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, said the questions from Scalia and other justices ignored the testimony in the initial trial of Proposition 8, California’s 2008 ban on same-sex marriage.
“That was the most astonishing aspect of the entire two days [of Supreme Court arguments], given the trial record in this case,” he said. “There was an enormous amount of evidence put in the record that gay parents are fit and loving and their children are doing well.”
Michael Lamb, a developmental psychologist at Cambridge University, testified at the Proposition 8 trial that research had shown children of same-sex parents were as likely to be well-adjusted as those of heterosexual parents. Nearly 40,000 children in California are being raised by gay couples.
When a case is appealed, both the appeals court and the Supreme Court generally accept the findings of fact made by the district court. They concern themselves with questions of law, not fact, and they usually show great deference to the district court judge’s factual determinations because they actually get to see the evidence presented and hear the witnesses testify and be cross-examined. And in the Prop 8 case, the district judge concluded that the evidence says same-sex parents are no different from opposite-sex parents in terms of outcomes for the children.
Dozens of studies now support that conclusion. And now we see the whole purpose behind that Regnerus study from last year, to provide some counter-example to all those studies. But the Regnerus study is a bad joke for all the reasons that have been pointed out. It simply does not compare similar families, it compares broken families with gay parents to stable and intact families with straight parents. But now we see why they were in such a hurry to get that study out, to provide some thin veneer of credibility to those justices who oppose marriage equality, allowing them to cite a “recent study” that concludes otherwise while ignoring the obvious methodological problems with it.
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