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Lawyers in Okla. challenge say same-sex marriage is a detriment to children

Monday, February 24, 2014

Updated: 9:30 p.m. CST

OKLAHOMA CITY — Lawyers who are appealing a federal judge’s ruling that overturned Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage said in a court filing Monday that legalizing gay marriage would harm children, undermine society and make traditional marriages unstable.

gay-parentsThe Alliance Defending Freedom cited courts and anthropologists, saying children are better off in a home with a mother and a father. It said traditional couples would be less likely to marry, or stay together, if marriage became a genderless institution not focused on procreation.

U.S. District Judge Terence Kern ruled last month against Tulsa County Clerk Sally Howe Smith, whose office refused to grant a marriage license to two women who wanted to marry. Monday’s appeal is the first step in the process ahead of an April 17 hearing before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

In its court filing Monday, Alliance said marriages should be about children, not adults.

“Marriage encourages mothers and fathers to remain together and care for the children born of their union,” the group’s 93-page filing said. Severing the link, it said, “would powerfully convey that marriage exists to advance adult desires rather than serving children’s needs.”

Citing a court opinion from 1888 — 19 years before Oklahoma’s statehood — Alliance said marriage “is the foundation of the family and of society, without which there would be neither civilization nor progress,” and cited a 1978 ruling that said traditional marriage was “fundamental to the very existence and survival of the (human) race.”

Sharon Baldwin and Mary Bishop, who had applied for the marriage license, issued a statement Monday night saying Alliance’s brief relies “on outdated and debunked science as far as saying that children need both a mother and a father.”

“(W)e believe they’re wrong that marriage is only about children. While many couples who wish to marry, both heterosexual and homosexual, want children, many others are infertile, are elderly or simply do not want children,” they said.

In his ruling, Kern said Oklahoma, by enforcing the ban, violates the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause because it precludes same-sex couples from receiving an Oklahoma marriage license.

“Exclusion of just one class of citizens from receiving a marriage license based upon the perceived ‘threat’ they pose to the marital institution is, at bottom, an arbitrary exclusion based upon the majority’s disapproval of the defined class,” he wrote. “It is also insulting to same-sex couples, who are human beings capable of forming loving, committed, enduring relationships.”

Oklahoma’s Republican governor, attorney general and other elected officials blasted the ruling. Kern immediately stayed the effects of his ruling, anticipating an appeal.

Alliance’s brief Monday said that, over time, marriage would lose its distinction as the place where heterosexual couples traditionally have children and instead be regarded as merely an option.

“Without the stability that marriage provides, more man-woman couples would end their relationships before their children are grown … and more children would be raised outside a stable family unit led by their married mother and father,” the group wrote, predicting an increase in the divorce rate.

Byron Babione, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, said 76 percent of Oklahoma voters expressed what they thought was best for children and society, referring to the amendment vote.

“Marriage expresses the reality that men and women bring distinct, irreplaceable gifts to family life, especially for children who deserve both a mom and a dad,” Babione said in a statement Monday night.

Kern’s ruling was one of several in the past few months to strike down or void part of such a ban.

A similar appeal out of Utah is being heard by the 10th Circuit. Utah state attorneys filed their opening arguments earlier this month, saying the optimal environment for raising a child is with a mother and father. A federal judge there had ruled in December that the voter-approved ban was unconstitutional.

More than 1,000 gay couples got married in Utah before the U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay in the case, halting the marriages during the appeals process. Oral arguments in the Utah case are scheduled for April 10.

Follow this case: Bishop v. Oklahoma.

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100 more reader comments:

  1. yes because only straight couples want the babies left in orphanages that noone else seems to want…

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:34am
  2. so is trailer trash marriage

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:34am
  3. That made my night.

    Replied on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:41am
  4. D**ks. We have love in our hearts and we should be allowed to express that by raising children that otherwise would grow up in the system.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:35am
  5. I challenge them to come meet one and see for themselves how polite and well adjusted our child is.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:36am
  6. That’s bullshit

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:36am
  7. only it isn’t. more fabricated “facts” from certified hate groups. :D

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:36am
  8. Are you kidding me?!?! WTH?!?!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:36am
  9. Love is never a detriment. Growing up with dysfunctional and abusive biological parents is. Can I testify?

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:36am
  10. Lawyers in Oklahoma are a detriment to practicing law. :/

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:36am
  11. clearly the lawyers are trash from the dump

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:37am
  12. But these breeders keep making gay babies

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:37am
  13. Well… some people are idiots. But they get to raise kids.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:37am
  14. once again, following that same tired argument, if the only purpose of marriage is to produce children, then every single marriage that doesn’t have minor children in its family must be dissolved.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:37am
  15. Well if you follow their ‘logic’, straight people are even worse because they keep having gay kids!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:37am
  16. Detriment to children, When they are FIGHTING TO Have the right to have children, when they are going to the court day after day to get the rights to have a family?? Really?? And Heterosexual parents who abandon their children, who divorce their spouses day after day regardless of having children or not?? Really for the good of children?? HOW SHAMEFUL HOW STUPID!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:37am
  17. Yes we should totally listen to those lawyers because developmental psychology is clearly their area of expertise!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:37am
  18. effing idiots,, foster care is at exploding levels with all the children the attorneys helped to put there.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:38am
  19. Oklahoma lawyers can eat shit…how about that??

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:38am
  20. Why do we Gays insist on using Bareback Porn stars to advertise for us. I will never understand that.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:38am
  21. These Lawyers and clerk need to get a life.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:39am
  22. You know what’s detrimental to marriage? People who think they can define it for others.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:39am
  23. The irony of it all. Straight people have these babies, don’t want them, put the children in shelters, or kills the child (sad to say but true). And gay couples, with all they go through to become parents (which is very difficult and lengthy, and expensive, shows that they really want such a precious child) and they get shamed upon because of their sexual preference? What a crock of sh*t that is an totally unfair. So a child can remain unwanted and without a home and love and care, just because people are prejudice. Yea that totally seems legit and such the way to go about things. Pfft, yea effing right! Keep on fighting gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered people! Keep on fighting the good fight!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:39am
  24. Not even close!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:40am
  25. You know what…being a parent has NOTHING to do with sexuality. It has to do with love. I have friends of all sexual orientations and would trust any of them with the care of my son. Because of WHO they are…and THAT is what is important!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:40am
  26. They apparently have not paid attention to the Prop 8 case. 8 supporters used exact same argument but guess what? The Supreme Court did not fall for that bullshit! If this is their full argument thrn by end of year SSM will be legal in Oklahoma

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:40am
  27. Wow! That’s just insane to me, to assume two women or two men that love each other aren’t capable of raising beautiful healthy children. Grr!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:41am
  28. And so are kids who parents have them in the foster care system, heterosexual parents I may add…. Didn’t think that maybe this is why gay people are adopting straight peoples kids? Think about that statement for a second idiots

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:41am
  29. Lets have all the children raised by gay couples come forward and get some empirical data. (empirical evidence is like acid to stupid people)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:42am
  30. What utter horseshit.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:43am
  31. LOVE is not detrimental to children .

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:43am
  32. Sue, sue, sue, sue. We have one US Constitution not 50.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:44am
  33. (1) It’s not a detriment to children. That is a complete lie.
    (2) Even if it were, so what? Living in poverty is a detriment to children, but poor people can still marry. Being a high-school dropout is a detriment to children, but dropouts can still marry.
    (3) Even if it were true, what does that have to do with marriage? People can get married without having children, and people can have children without getting married.
    (4) Point out just one single child of a gay person who magically became the child of a straight person thanks to the marriage ban.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:44am
  34. Buys hit

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:44am
  35. Wow I just am amazed at people & how jugde mental they are!!!!! I was tough that only god was to judge is all on judgement day!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:45am
  36. A detriment to children is being raised in a dark society where they are taught to hate!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:45am
  37. Same old tired arguments, different day.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:31pm
  38. Yes, we have to stop these homosexuals from adopting needy children who’s real parents couldn’t afford to take care of them or didn’t want the child! Those evil homosexuals!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:32pm
  39. look im gay im not evil ok

    Replied on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:35pm
  40. Speaking as a foster parent, you're ENTIRELY correct!

    Replied on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:40pm
  41. Tis' was a sarcastic remark, Jacques. xD

    Replied on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:40pm
  42. that was sarcasm from Stephen Walker.. he doesn't think LGBT are evil!

    Replied on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:42pm
  43. Quite so! n_n

    Replied on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:43pm
  44. Your a Bible Thumper I take it ...Pathetic Wanker U are !!

    Replied on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:46pm
  45. Dude, it was "sarcasm" .... xD

    Replied on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:47pm
  46. I'm making fun of the fact that while heterosexual couples ruin childrens' lives every day, they're worried about homosexuals doing the same thing. xD

    Replied on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:47pm
  47. These people live under a rock?

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:33pm
  48. I believe living in Oklahoma might be a detriment to children

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:33pm
  49. Blah, blah, blah. SO sick of living in Oklahoma…Nothing but a bunch of crabby, old close-minded bigots.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:33pm
  50. Of which there is ZERO proof which makes their claims baseless and laughable!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:34pm
  51. mom and dad for kids r best adopted or not

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:34pm
  52. Says no evidence at all.

    Replied on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:39pm
  53. Not true at all. Love and attention are best for kids. If kids can get that from a single mother household, then they'll be fine. If they can get that from a single father household, then they'll be fine. If they can get that from a heterosexual pair household, then they'll be fine. If they can get that from a homosexual pair household, then they'll be fine. If they can get that from a household with mutliple adults, then they'll be fine. Love and attention. That's all they need, besides the very basics such as food and clothing and a roof.

    Replied on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:42pm
  54. Wayne, please show me your support for that. Any child with glbt parents that I have seen is very well adjusted and happy. Kids need LOVE and guidance, whether 2 moms, 2 dads, 1 of each or just one. Family is family. You'd rather a kid stay with 2 parents who are incapable of raising them either because they don't want to or have circumstances such as drug/alcohol abuse that make them an unfit parent??

    Replied on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:45pm
  55. I've got best friend claims his whole.life been screwed up cuz he had 2moms...it sorta unheard of in 70s. Being gay strait single is a choice...can't deccide wether parents can b called parents that drugs. Alcohol.inolved u hadn't lived in my shoes...but wantever think being gay is ok....gays must ignorant major. Mind mentally disturbed people in the world...unstable mind...if were meant b with same sex. We all been here as same sex.

    Replied on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 3:35pm
  56. Then the same could be said for single parents?

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:35pm
  57. I support the two moms and two dad families across the world.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:35pm
  58. Whatever

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:35pm
  59. No, having heterosexual patents can be more detrimental to children, but that’s ok right bigots?

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:36pm
  60. This is a losing argument. The PA case looks interesting because they are using the “DOMA decision says marriage law is a state level issue” argument.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:36pm
  61. Sandy Martinez….you could come and live in Arizona. We are equally sick of living here as well. :-/

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:37pm
  62. Yes well fuck you

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:38pm
  63. Who saw that the Uganda President said, he didn’t want US interference m, because they would come to make their children gay!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:38pm
  64. They are concerned about same sex couples adopting children? Because of course it is so taboo for same sex couples wanting to have a family and raise children. But you don’t see that much effort going after parents who pop out babies like its a fashion statement or neglect their own kids o.O

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:39pm
  65. I think that there’s MORE detriment from living in Oklahoma than from having gay parents.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:39pm
  66. Same argument was used in the Supreme Court case and backfired on them when justice Kennedy said it damaged the children of same sex couples that their parents could not be married.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:39pm
  67. rubbish!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:39pm
  68. The clerk is more of a Detriment to proper breeding of humans together since they sound like their Mother was a Chimp. What a moron, those crazy right-wing-nuts and their stupid backwards bible thumping are dumber than a bag of rocks and a threat to advancing society.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:41pm
  69. Wow, that baby sure looks happy.. must not live in Oklahoma!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:41pm
  70. What a crock of shit…

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:43pm
  71. If we can hurt heterosexual marriage, then there must be a problem with it anyway, just how in the world could same sex marriage hurt anyone, bunch of redneck bigots;

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:44pm
  72. Does Oklahoma have nio babies born to unwed mothers? Do they track couples after marriage to be sure they are having children? This is more religious ridiculousness.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:44pm
  73. Indefensible.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:45pm
  74. Thats f-ing BS!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:52pm
  75. Fucking nuts people, rediculius

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:55pm
  76. living in oklahoma is a detriment to everyone

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 3:03pm
  77. Selected Hatred, Discrimination and Bigotry are detriment to All Humanity.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 3:07pm
  78. They don’t stand a chance.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 3:14pm
  79. This is an old argument. They aren’t worried about the kids. Or they would be worried about the single parents and orphaned kids of straight couples. They just want to try an emotional attack. Plenty of straight couples have already had a detrimental effect on kids already. Homosexuality has nothing to do with it.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 3:23pm
  80. Anywhere in the central part of America is like…a black zone of hate and evil. It doesn’t matter what the lawyers say when the first amendment states fuck them and the supreme court agrees.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 3:28pm
  81. Do people honestly think we want our kids to be gay? Being straight is a hell of a lot easier! Some of the best parents today are GAY…YES GAY! Get over it Oklahoma. SHEESH!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 3:29pm
  82. And we are trusting the word of a lawyer??? Aren’t they built to lie, coerce and manipulate?

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 3:32pm
  83. This picture is proof of just the opposite. What an adorable baby and beautiful family!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 3:47pm
  84. Not proven on a federal level. Personally I think there are plenty of subcultures who do a worse job raising their kids than any gay couple I have ever met, and I have met a lot.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 3:48pm
  85. Fuck off lol made me laugh! Jokers!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 3:48pm
  86. Lawyers are no scientists. Scientists say, same-sex marriage is not detriment to children and scientists don’t believe, they know. Isn’t the USA the land of the free? If yes I don’t think it is right to restrict freedom based on believes but only on facts. Only by facts gained from scientific research, reviewed by anonymous reviewers and confirmed by other neutral scientific research. Believes, no matter if it’s religion or not, have no right to be a part of politics, only facts.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 3:50pm
  87. So many children that are not loved at all. So they dont want to let people love them at all. This country we live in.. SAD..

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 3:54pm
  88. To those who cant believe, no evidence is enough.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 3:57pm
  89. Fuck you. Having no family at all is a detriment to children. Grow up, you bigoted fucks.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 4:03pm
  90. I’d love to see them back that up with some sort of study. Maybe they can use the one from bigoted and anti-gay Family Research Council which stated that the northeast has the most successful families—states which just so happen to allow same-sex marriage. Hmm…

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 4:12pm
  91. we go over this stuff all the time? why does it make families unstable? Oh the man down the street got married to another man! Im so angry im going to divorce my wife.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 4:16pm
  92. I say they do a study of 50 gays 50 lesbians 50 single parent and 50 “normal” families and when the gay and lesbians children surpass the rest of the kids they allow us to get married and leave us the Fuck alone and fix their own problems instead

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 4:22pm
  93. No Wayne Owen not knowing how to write a logical, complete or sane sentence is a screwed up mate!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 4:37pm
  94. Wayne Owen, I do believe you are the one w the mental issues.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 4:46pm
  95. Love is love and all kids need love.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 5:04pm
  96. Children need love, not politics. They get that from loving parents not from their parents dangly bits.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 5:20pm
  97. Idiots!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 5:26pm
  98. I live in Oklahoma and their is alot of Biggots here , I wish they would pull their heads out of their asses , plus our Governor is a real big Biggot , so we just have to keep fighting to get our rights and get these aholes out of office and the rest of them put back under the rocks from where they came, us Gay people are just as able to raise and love children as anyone , GEEZ ,

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 5:41pm
  99. What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. — Christopher Hitchens

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 5:44pm