On the steps of the US Supreme Court today, a plaintiff in the Prop 8 case said that the message from the Supreme Court to same-sex couples is that "your children are just as good as other children." I am looking for affirmation that all children are equal, no matter what their family structure. Justice Kennedy writes that the federal differentiation between same- and different-sex couples "humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples. The law in question makes it even more difficult for the children to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives."
What about the children of unmarried couples? single mothers? being raised by extended family members? They also deserve not to be demeaned and humiliated by their family structure. I can't rejoice until that's true as a legal and a cultural matter. I hope considering the well-being of children of same-sex couples who marry will be one step in that direction. It is certainly not an end in and of itself.
I released the following statement today to media outlets that requested my reaction to today's opinions. Of course I speak for no one but myself:
so dismayed by the dismantling of the voting rights act yesterday. Race
is still a central component of who our society values or doesn’t value.
The DOMA opinion means married same-sex couples will be treated as married
under federal law. But the demographics of who marries now is highly
skewed by race and class. There is every reason to assume those
demographics will hold for lesbians and gay men as well. So we will have
same-sex couples who don’t marry, just as we have different-sex couples who
don’t marry. And we will have lots of legal consequences linked
exclusively to marriage that ignore the vast number of family relationships in
this country that are not based on marriage. I am very happy to see
Kennedy’s opinion recognize the dignity that same-sex relationships must be
afforded and also recognize how demeaning of gay people it was for Congress to
pass DOMA. But Kennedy refers to DOMA has humiliating the children of
same-sex couples. NO children should feel humiliated by their family
structure. Children of unmarried parents should not feel
humiliated. All children are equal and the families that raise them
deserve equal respect.
More from me later about the Supreme Court rulings.