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scalia and same-sex unions: bigotry disguised as reason?

March 29, 2013

In case we need any more evidence that Justice Scalia’s opinions about same-sex unions are based on bigotry rather than reason or facts (as if his comments in defense of anti-sodomy laws back in December weren’t enough), he further clarifies the issue for us with his recent comment that “there’s considerable disagreement among sociologists as to what the consequences of raising a child in a single-sex family, whether that is harmful to the child or not” despite the fact that the American Sociological Association’s official statement on the matter completely contradicts this:

The claim that same-sex parents produce less positive child outcomes than opposite-sex parents—either because such families lack both a male and female parent or because both parents are not the biological parents of their children—contradicts abundant social science research. Decades of methodologically sound social science research, especially multiple nationally representative studies and the expert evidence introduced in the district courts below, confirm that positive child wellbeing is the product of stability in the relationship between the two parents, stability in the relationship between the parents and child, and greater parental socioeconomic resources. Whether a child is raised by same-sex or opposite-sex parents has no bearing on a child’s wellbeing.

The clear and consistent consensus in the social science profession is that across a wide range of indicators, children fare just as well when they are raised by same-sex parents when compared to children raised by opposite-sex parents.

While I could personally care less about marriage in and of itself, I think it’s worth fighting for anything that chips away at bigotry and discrimination in our society, and against people like Scalia, who’d rather impose their bigotry onto others through the legal system. All the available evidence suggests that gay parents are good parents, and that dissolution rates for same-sex couples are slightly lower on average than divorce rates of different-sex couples. Couple that with the equal-protection clause of the 14th Amendment, and I honestly don’t see how Scalia, or anyone else for that matter, can say that their opposition to same-sex marriage is based on anything but bigotry—a prejudice that more often than not arises out of religious beliefs that, in my opinion, have no place being imposed onto the rest of a secular society, especially when the First Amendment has historically been understood to provide a ‘wall of separation between church and state,’ protecting the former from the authority of the latter and vice versa.

I believe that a person should have the freedom to practice their religion as they see fit as long as it doesn’t infringe upon the rights and freedoms of others. In this instance, making same-sex marriage legal and/or getting rid of DOMA wouldn’t force churches to conduct/officiate said marriages, and it most certainly wouldn’t force opponents from entering into a same-sex union; but upholding DOMA and/or making same-sex marriages illegal affects all same-sex couples and denies them equal rights under the law, which I’d argue is not only unconstitutional but unconscionable. It not even ‘separate but equal’; it’s ‘separate and unequal.’

And the same goes for laws that target and discriminate against transgendered individuals, who often get overlooked in these kinds of debates.

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