SCOTUS Justices Can’t Find Science On Same-Sex Marriage
So we found it for them.
In their recent consideration of the legality of same sex marriage, two members of the Supreme Court called into question whether or not the science exists demonstrating that these unions do not harm children. During oral arguments over whether or not to uphold the legality of California’s Proposition 8, which codifies marriage as being only between one man and one woman, Justices Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy both questioned whether or not science or “experts” had confirmed the harmlessness of same-sex marriage to children. Justice Samuel Alito then noted that same sex marriage was newer than cell phones or the Internet (transcript here).
Unless the ancient Greeks had cell phones and wireless, he’s wrong on that. And based on that reasoning, it would have been just fine for a Supreme Court justice hearing Brown vs. the Board of Education in 1954 to point out that school desegregation was a concept newer even than television. Does that mean anything?
Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, presenting the case before the court, offered up another comparison:
Well, the social science is still uncertain about how biracial children will fare in this world, and so you ought to apply rational basis scrutiny and wait. And I think the Court recognized that there is a cost to waiting and that that has got to be part of the equal protection calculus.
Not all same-sex couples intend to have children; indeed, their alleged inability to have biological children as a couple is one argument frequently forwarded against recognizing their marriages, primarily by people who think marriage exists only for the purposes of pro-creation. So it’s unclear how the effect of same-sex marriage on children is relevant to the question of how marriage should be defined.
What is clear is that the American Academy of Pediatrics has come out with a [it’s there](http://blogs.ajc.com/momania/2013/03/25/american-academy-of-pediatrics-same-sex-marriage-good-for-kids/?cxntfid=blogs_momania/>statement [PDF] confirming what many people know already: What’s good for children has nothing to do with the sex or gender of the parents and everything to do with how strong family relationships are and what the family’s social and economic resources are. Duh. Something that could negatively influence a child who has two parents of the same sex are social messages from people who have determined, based on phobias or religious interpretations, that such marriages aren’t legitimate or will threaten their own heterosexual unions. Another thing that could negatively influence a child with two loving parents in a same-sex partnership? When members of the highest court in the nation, during oral arguments in a landmark case, question the existence of science confirming the safety of same-sex marriage for children while simultaneously demonstrating that they haven’t bothered to look for it. Because