Yesterday, Salon’s Tracy Clark-Flory examined mixed orientation marriages as a possible new political statement against same-sex marriage. The article was triggered by the amicus brief filed by a Utah attorney on behalf of some people in mixed orientation marriages. She also interviewed me for the article and I am quoted extensively.
While my survey results are still unpublished (I keep getting distracted), the study has helped inform my views on the subject. Some essentially same-sex attracted men and women fall in love with a member of the other sex. While most of these marriages deal with issues other couples don’t have to address, there are many who are quite satisfied with the arrangement. They are not of necessity loveless, passionless marriages. However, the vast majority of these people don’t develop attraction to the other sex in any general sense. The baseline attractions remain about the same. On average, the people I surveyed demonstrated more same-sex attraction, not less.
In my opinion, there is no political benefit for any side in these results and I hope “mixed orientation marriage” doesn’t become the new “ex-gay.” Ex-gay became a political weapon and the political demands turned ex-gay into a caricature. In my view, the experiences of these couples have no relevance to the Supreme Court’s deliberations.
Many comment threads on this blog turn into discussions of same-sex marriage. Well here is a post where that conversation will be on point.
The Pew Foundation yesterday published a Q & A on the topic with “professors Robert W. Tuttle and Ira “Chip” Lupu of The George Washington University Law School to discuss how some states are trying to reconcile these and other potential conflicts between the legalization of gay marriage and the free exercise of religion.”
This is timely given the rush of legislatures in the northeast to enact same-sex marriage statutes. The latest news came from New Hampshire where the governor has threatened a veto unless a religious liberty clause is a part of the legislation. The sticking point is concern over the conscience rights of merchants to refuse to take part in ceremonies or activities involving gay marriage. Governor Lynch wants a wider set of exemptions and some gay marriage supporters want a narrow set of protections of conscience.
Same-sex marriage in the heart land.
Note the attorney quoted at the end of the article: Richard Socarides. Charles Socarides son. English majors, help me, is that irony?
It seems even clearer to me that this issue will eventually come before the Supreme Court. Can the nation long sustain a patchwork quilt of laws regulating marriage?
Here is the ruling summarized with a link to the full court documents.
If you get Google alerts or some similar service, you already know that the California Supreme Court has issued a ruling recognizing a right to marriage for same-sex couples. From the San Diego Union-Tribune:
The state Supreme Court struck down California’s marriage law banning same sex couples from getting married in a historic decision Thursday that declared the law unconstitutional discrimination.
The decision will surely touch off an impassioned political fight.
The 4-3 opinion is the high court’s most important civil rights decision in more than a decade, and it is an epic legal victory for same-sex marriage advocates. California is now the second state in the nation to allow gays and lesbians to be legally married.
According to the opinion, “we determine that the language of section 300 limiting the designation of marriage to a union ‘between a man and a woman’ is unconstitutional and must be stricken from the statute, and that the remaining statutory language must be understood as making the designation of marriage available both to opposite-sex and same-sex couples.”
Email alerts reactions from various groups range from “a full win” by gay groups to “a disregard of California voters” from conservative groups. The November ballot initiative will now be considered an effort to overturn this ruling.
Fallout and reactions:
Presidential candidates reactions
New York Times
As Part 2 of my series on same-sex parenting research, I am posting the transcript of a presentation delivered at the Catholic University just over a year ago. A section on same-sex marriage was provided after Michael Bailey and prior to my speech at the same comference.
(Quotes removed at the request of Brad Wilcox)
Here is a more socially conservative scholar who comes to an assessment similar to Meezan and Rauch: we don’t know much and not really enough.
Some distinctions are arising in the comments on other threads that should be sharpened going forward. Same-sex adoption of special needs kids should be distinguished from use of reproductive technologies to create kids without hope of knowing a parent of one gender. Whereas some would say public policy should not make these distinctions; others would say it can and should. What data exist to inform these discussions? Are there data that could address these issues? Or is policy to be made on the basis of presuppositional principles? How do we decide which principles apply? I would say the best interest of children would be such a principle. If research finds, on balance, discouraging results from studies of same-sex parenting (however defined), do equal protection arguments for adults trump any potential child consequences? What if research finds that some outcomes are better for same-sex parenting and some are not, then how should public policy take mixed results into account?
Let’s keep talking…