What if God, nature and thousands of year of human experience turn out to be wrong and marriage between one man and one woman is not, in fact, the single best way to bring children into the world and raise them up to be healthy adults?
What if by next Father’s Day, federal judges rule that children don’t really need fathers — or mothers, for that matter — and that it is therefore a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment for states to stop lesbian and gay couples from adopting children and raising them as if they were married couples?
This is what the American Psychological Association and the National Association of Social Workers are advocating.
Both groups have filed amicus briefs in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit opposing Nebraska’s state marriage amendment because it denies same-sex parents equal status under law to heterosexual married parents.
Nebraska’s marriage amendment was approved by 70% of the state’s voters six years ago. Last year, it was overturned by a federal district judge, who argued among other things that the law was unconstitutional because it prevented same-sex couples from seeking a statutory change by Nebraska’s unicameral legislature that would allow them to adopt children.
The 8th Circuit is now reviewing Nebraska’s marriage amendment, and it could end up in the Supreme Court. But, as arguments by the APA and NASW demonstrate, the battle is not ultimately about who gets to legally shack up with whom, it is about whether the distinct status of fatherhood and motherhood should be abolished in U.S. law. It is about how children will be raised.
The APA and NASW bluntly argue that children don’t need both a mother and father.
“Over the last twenty years,” says the NASW brief, “a considerable body of social science research has established that lesbian and gay parents have parenting skills that are at least equivalent to those of heterosexual parents.”
“In addition,” says the APA brief, “a growing number of same-sex couples are becoming parents through methods including donor-insemination (with either an anonymous or known donor), assistance of a surrogate mother, and adoption. … Indeed, the relevant scientific research has been remarkably consistent in showing that lesbian and gay parents are every bit as fit and capable as heterosexual parents, and their children are as psychologically healthy and well-adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents.”
In “Lesbian & Gay Parenting,” a booklet published by the APA “to serve the needs of psychologists, lawyers and parties in family law cases,” the group even infers that same-sex couples might make better parents than heterosexual couples. “The results of some studies suggest that lesbian mothers’ and gay fathers’ parenting skills may be superior to those of matched heterosexual couples,” the booklet says.
These groups seek a revolution that overturns the basic organizing unit of human society, the family. But they can only succeed if they also overturn our moral and religious foundations.
There can be no doubt that when 70% of Nebraska voters approved the state’s marriage amendment they were acting on those moral and religious foundations. The Ten Commandments, after all, puts a heavy focus on marriage and family: “Honor thy father and mother.” “Thou shall not commit adultery.” “Thou shall not covet they neighbor’s wife.”
Jesus personally defined marriage: “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”
Either the Old and New Testaments are right about marriage and family, or the APA and the NASW are right. There is no middle ground.
As long as Congress fails to send a marriage-protection amendment to the states for ratification, the APA and NASW will have a chance of winning a “right” in federal court for same-sex couples to create children through modern technology and then adopt them. That, of course, will deny children their God-given right to claim, let alone honor, both a father and a mother. But these groups don’t care about that.
Their aim is not to advance the welfare of children, it is to secure for same-sex couples the children nature denies them. Another Bible story holds the definitive rebuttal to their suit: Solomon knew a true mother would rather give up the child she loved than see it done irreparable harm.