The first Appeals Court hearing on the constitutionality of same sex marriage bans will occur in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver on Thursday. The court will hear oral arguments on the Utah ban overturned by a federal judge.
Federal judges in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia have also struck down similar bans. The Tenth Circuit will hear the case from Oklahoma a week after the Utah case.
Utah's legal brief argues that restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples "helps prevent further erosion of the traditional concept of marriage as being principally a child-centered institution, one focused first and foremost on the welfare of children rather than the emotional interests of adults."
The state argues that children do better when raised by "a mother and father in intact families" and that changing what constitutes marriage "would likely reduce over time the proportion of children being raised in one of those arrangements."
Lawyers for the three couples challenging the ban counter that marriage is not "a zero-sum game that pits the needs of children against the desires of adults. To the contrary, marriage benefits the health and well-being of both adults and children."
I agree with that and there is also the position by most professional psychological organizations that there is little difference in children raised by homosexual or heterosexual couples.
Even if we concede that children are better off raised by a mother and father, being raised in a loving family with two mothers or two fathers is a hell of a lot better than being raised with no mother and no father.
Then there is the point that not all marriages are aimed at having children. Some couples decide against it; some couples find they simply cannot and some get married late in life beyond childbearing age.
In other words, Utah's argument is total crap and I suspect that Oklahoma's will be as well. I find it hard to believe that the Appeals Court will buy into the nonsense being spewed by the state of Utah.
It's all going to end up in the lap of the Supreme Court no matter what the Appeals Courts say but a string of victories in the Appeals Courts would make it harder for the Supremes to do something really stupid.