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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Are Gays Good for Parenting?

The ongoing battle over gay marriage in California -- legalized by the courts then overturned by voters who supported Proposition 8 in November -- has prompted some intriguing new questions.

Can anyone prove gay marriage harms traditional marriage? What's "harm" and what would "proof" be?

U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker brought these up during a hearing on a lawsuit, brought by gay Californians and supported by the state's attorney general, claiming that Prop. 8 is unconstitutionally discriminatory.

According to an Associated Press story, Charles Cooper, lawyer for the group that sponsored Prop. 8 argued that it is "constitutionally valid because it furthers the states' goal of fostering 'naturally procreative relationships.' " But Cooper was flummoxed when the judge asked him where's the harm.

With no examples of harm at hand, Cooper argued that Californians are still "entitled" not to take the risk. Walker, however, ruled that the case could go forward.

The AP quotes Andy Pugno, general counsel to the coalition of religious and social conservative groups behind Prop. 8, who says the real impact is that the voters who overturned gay marriage "continue to be accused of being irrational and bigoted for restoring the traditional definition of marriage."

The idea that having babies is the one true purpose of marriage is rooted in a traditional, literal reading of the Bible, a reading that not everyone shares these days.

What do you think is the purpose of marriage? Are childless couples less truly married? What about couples who limit the number of children? Is their marriage not as valid? Has your marriage been harmed by gay couples, married or unmarried? How?