Love & Sex

Why Aren’t We Letting this Michigan Couple Adopt Their Own Kids?

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Obama, Republicans, and science are calling gay marriage bans on their bullshit.

Earlier this morning, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman decided to waffle out of what could have been a landmark ruling on whether the same-sex marriage ban in Michigan is constitutional. A+, beak Friedman. Today’s hearing centered around one lesbian couple who made waves in the state as they looked to mutually adopt their children (they want to be their kids’ parents, insane, right?). What first appeared to be a joint custody case for loving mothers April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, quickly turned into a question of the legality of gay marriage, as the couple was denied the adoption rights available to married couples, and their children disallowed inheritance. Dana Nessel, the couple’s attorney, argued the 2004 amendment that banned gay marriage in the state violated the Equal Rights Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, which holds that no state may deny any citizen the equal protection of the law.

Friedman’s decision to defer means Michigan, much like the other 40 states that still ban same-sex marriage, will look to the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding California to set precedent, making way for a mighty, anti-discriminatory ripple.

The white-wigged elite of the U.S. Supreme Court will sit down to review arguments on California’s notorious Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act later this month. Judges like Friedman, and the rest of rational America, will wait with bated breath until the end of June when the court should give their ruling. I’m sitting here nursing a rage headache, wondering how this could even be as divisive and perpetual an argument as it is. Is this really still the world we live in? It won’t be for long if my two old smoking buddies, Logic and Sanity, have a say in the matter.

Last Thursday, everyone from the Obama administration, to 100 high-profile Republicans, and Ellen Degeneres, showed their support of same-sex marriage by penning amicus court briefs in opposition to Prop 8. As the Republican-backed brief argues, “there is no legitimate, fact-based reason for denying same-sex couples the same recognition in law that is available to opposite-sex couples.” And that’s coming from the progressive minds of Clint Eastwood and Mitt Romney’s old campaign manager.

It’s been a slow come-around for the President to announce his decided support on this issue, and it would seem, it’s been a mirrored evolution for the rest of the nation as well. According to a Pew Research Center poll, 48% of Americans now support gay marriage, while 43% opposed (Hey, what’s up, absentee 9%? What are you doing this weekend?). Compare this to way back in 2001, when 57% opposed same-sex marriage while 35% favored it. The times, they are a-changing.

Who are the 43% of Americans whose backs must be bent from holding up the weight of this Stone Age legislation? Let’s call them The Unfounded. Demographically speaking, increasingly narrowing groups like old people, white evangelical Christians, and white people without a college degree have become the bastian of gay marriage opposition.

Even science is telling these isolated demographics to catch the fuck up on social progress. In a friend-of-the-court brief filed by the American Psychological Association and the American Medical Association, among other leading organizations, stated that there was no scientific evidence that validated the banning of gay marriage. According to empirical research, “there is no scientific basis for concluding that gay and lesbian parents are any less fit or capable than heterosexual parents, or that their children are any less psychologically healthy and well-adjusted,” the brief states. In fact, researchers claim that same-sex marriages provide the exact same benefits as heterosexual ones, like intimacy, loyalty, and stability, to the American family–that oft-called-upon ideal cited in disputes about the legality of gay marriage.

This month’s hearings will no doubt arrive at a watershed decision regarding gay rights, possibly the first of a trend of dismissing state bans. The Justice Department is asking the Court to adopt a gradual “eight-state solution,” in which the eight states that already grant full domestic partnership rights to same-sex couples but not marriage stop needlessly splitting hairs and drop their bans. This could rack up to a full 17 states that allow gay marriage. If all else fails, the decision will be left up to the polls. That prospect isn’t too shabby: A Field Poll survey released last week showed that California voters, by a nearly 2-1 margin, now approve of allowing same-sex couples to marry.

Those in opposition of same-sex marriage, like Michigan’s Attorney General’s office, reference some real bedrock claims like that there is “no fundamental right” to gay marriage, while countless others, like Republican Rob Portman, purport a sacred bond between a man and a woman that should not be compromised. But, what’s fundamentally right when we as a nation fail to uphold the same heightened scrutiny for laws that discriminate against sexual orientation, when we unanimously object to the same restrictions when they are put upon people of various racial, class, and gender groups? And, what exactly is so sacred about a bond that has about a 50% rate of dissolving when regular, “deserving” heterosexual couples choose to exercise their rights? Isn’t it about time straighties let someone else fuck up their sacred institution, as they have done so well themselves for centuries? The good news is, that whatever happens on the bench, come 2014, this may soon be in our hands, oh sane and logical voters.