New York Court's Archaic Reasoning Ignores the Facts About Marriage and Families

by HRC Staff

'The court's archaic reasoning is rooted in ignorance and completely contradicted by the facts of today,' said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.

WASHINGTON - Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese made the following statement as the Court of Appeals, New York's highest court, ruled today that the state constitution permitted the denial of marriage to same-sex couples. The court's majority opinion ruled that the Legislature had a rational reason for denying marriage, saying it's more important to promote stability in opposite-sex relationships than same-sex relationships and insinuating that children do not do as well with lesbian and gay parents.

"The court's archaic reasoning is rooted in ignorance and completely contradicted by the facts of today," said Solmonese. "The court threw the expert advice of child welfare professionals and years of scientific evidence out the window with its ruling against fairness. We commend the work of Lambda Legal, the ACLU and the plaintiff couples who had the courage and resolve to bring these cases forward."

Solmonese continued, "This case raised the issue of fairness and equality for all New Yorkers who saw first-hand the real people fighting for their families. Thanks in large part to these couples and the hard work of the Empire State Pride Agenda, now a majority of New Yorkers support marriage equality and we will work with our allies in the state to ensure that the Legislature hears their voices loud and clear. As we move forward, we will continue to work with Empire State Pride Agenda and allies in the state to engage elected officials about why all Americans deserve the protections and responsibilities that only marriage provides.

"Every couple in a loving and committed relationship should be able to obtain the legal protections that only come with marriage," added Solmonese. "We know that the struggle for equality is never quick or easy, but history has taught us that with determination, debate and devotion - the side of progress ultimately prevails. We will continue to move forward."

The Court of Appeals Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye dissented and wrote, "I am confident that future generations will look back on today's decision as an unfortunate misstep." One other judge joined the dissent.

Bolstered by all major research studies, the prevailing professional opinion is that a parent's sexual orientation has nothing to do with his or her ability to be a good parent.
The nation's leading child welfare, psychological and children's health organizations also have issued policy or position statements in this regard, including:

ᄡAmerican Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (1999)

ᄡAmerican Academy of Family Physicians (2002)

ᄡAmerican Academy of Pediatrics (2006)

ᄡAmerican Bar Association (1995, 1999 and 2003)

ᄡAmerican Medical Association (2004)

ᄡAmerican Psychiatric Association (1997 and 2002)

ᄡAmerican Psychoanalytic Association (2002)

ᄡAmerican Psychological Association (1976 and 2004)

ᄡChild Welfare League of America (1988)

ᄡNational Adoption Center (1998)

ᄡNational Association of Social Workers (2002)

ᄡNorth American Council on Adoptable Children (1998)

The American Academy of Pediatrics journal published a report this month finding that children of same-sex couples would benefit from marriage fairness for their parents. Read more on the opinion of leading professional organizations.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

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