Thursday, April 11, 2013
The kids need to be all right
Yes, the kids have to be all right.
Monday, April 8, Bill Keller wrote a perspective (p. A19), “About the Children” on that point, link here.
There’s no question that children of couples not recognized as legally married by the law or as “family” by peers might incur serious disadvantages. (Socialization to love “family” preferentially seems like a primal value to some people.) That practical reality provides blowback against the usual conservative arguments that marriage is about having and raising children and that kids have a birthright to opposite gendered parents.
Keller speculates that the Supreme Court is indeed likely to allow states to continue setting their own marriage standards, because that is normally within their “police powers”. Some states, like Virginia, refuse to offer even a civil union, so the status of the kids matters.
The contraposition would be, well, don’t allow gays to adopt or raise children. A few states tried that exercise in circularity. The practical consequences of such state policy (even if constitutional) can be that more children remain in orphanages or foster care. Indeed, the tone of moral debate in the 21st Century may be whether participation in raising children will be a moral expectation of everyone.
Keller notes the tendency for “reactionaries” to distort studies or statistics to support their prejudices, and to form organizations or “colleges” to conceal their tininess.