Marriage News Watch

Roundup: Dueling briefs in leadup to Supreme Court fight, flawed study on gay parenting


LGBTQ Nation

The Defense of Marriage Act has some powerful enemies, with strongly-worded opposition coming this week from some familiar names. A flawed study on LGBT parenting is also under attack, with its author now under investigation.

All that and some good news coming out of Maine.

This week’s Marriage News Watch report is here:

Following is a transcript of this report:

At the American Foundation for Equal Rights, I’m Matt Baume, and welcome to Marriage News Watch for July 16, 2012.

Last week we reported that multiple challenges to the federal Defense of Marriage Act are headed to the US Supreme Court. This week a wide range of companies, politicians, medical organizations, and cities have filed amicus briefs in support of those challenges.

Those companies include Microsoft, Google, Viacom, eBay, and Xerox, among others. And the cities range from San Francisco to New York to Boston. Their brief states that “Statements of principle are our agenda for success … Our principles reflect, in the truest sense, our business judgment. By force of law, DOMA would rescind that judgment, and direct that we renounce these principles, or worse yet betray them.”

Members of Congress filing a brief against DOMA include Jerrold Nadler of New York, Nancy Pelosi of California, Steny Hoyer of Maryland, John Conyers of Michigan, and James Clyburn of North Carolina — a hundred and thirty Representatives in total.

And numerous medical organizations filed a brief of their own, which states “The claim that legal recognition of marriage for same-sex couples undermines the institution of marriage and harms their children is inconsistent with the scientific evidence.” That brief was submitted by the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among others.

Filing a brief in defense of DOMA was the American College of Pediatricians. Now they’re not to be confused with the American Academy of Pediatrics, a sixty-thousand-member respected medical organization that opposes DOMA and has existed for nearly a century. The American College of Pediatricians is about ten years old, is estimated to have just a couple dozen members, and primarily exists to oppose protections for LGBT people and families.

Their pro-DOMA brief cites a deeply flawed study that we reported on a few weeks ago. That study purported to show that the kids of LGBT parents suffer when compared to those of straight parents. But that contradicts a large body of evidence, and now the study’s author, Mark Regnerus, is under investigation by his employer for scientific misconduct. The University of Texas will issue a decision on his study within 60 days.

In the mean time, the real medical organizations explained in their brief that the ACP “seriously mischaracterizes” the research. They also pointed out that “the Regnerus study sheds no light on the parenting of stable, committed same-sex couples.”

Turning now to the states, there are positive new poll numbers in Maine. Voters there will decide in November whether to allow LGBT couples to marry. Currently the measure is ahead with 57% support and just 35% opposed.

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