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I regularly am asked by students to discuss articles or theological points that span many issues. On very rare occasions, I choose to write something to address these issues. When a group of students asked me to weigh in on a series of articles that recently had been presented to them, I thought that writing would be the best way to address some of the confused and ever-shifting points of this destructive argument. I think the students who brought it to my attention deserve a thorough response.

In Frank Turek’s two-part blog post about marriage written in 2013 (linked here and here), he set about the task of proving that, “Marriage between a man and a woman is the foundation of civilized society and should be the only sexual relationship promoted by the government. That is the essence of the Marriage Protection Amendment, and its passage in no way violates anyone’s civil rights.” Although the underlying claims require huge assumptions about historical, cultural, sociological, biological and paradigmatic issues, along with the purpose of marriage, the nature of government and the nature of civil rights, Turek seems very convinced that he possesses the required understanding, and is so correct in his conclusions, that he is willing to deny an entire group of people access to a social institution.

To quote Turek, “Let’s be clear about what this issue is not about. It is not about whether people with homosexual attractions are equal citizens who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. All human beings should be treated with dignity and respect. But while all people are equal, all ideas and behaviors are not. I hope to evaluate the diffract ideas and behaviors we are each advocating tonight by being correct, not politically correct. I mean no offense.” I will argue that Turek’s historical claims are faulty, his understanding of gender and sexuality limited and broken, inaccurate and antiquated, and that same-sex relationships have an important role to play in our society, families and in the personal lives of gay and lesbian people. I will further discuss why the reduction of homosexuality to an “idea and behavior” flies in the face of medical and psychological practice and does not treat people who are gay and lesbian with dignity and respect, and why his views do not support treating people equally. Turek’s argument creates a confusing mixture of gender roles and biological sex. In the end, Turek is not only politically incorrect, but also plain incorrect in his conclusions. I will not address all of the faults of his arguments, as it would require a much longer document; I will simply address and refute the core of his comments, with a few side digressions when further discussion is merited. He may believe it is possible to put forward such views without causing insult, harm and offense, but I do not believe it can be done.

I do not intend this to be a complete argument for same-sex marriage or a presentation of a holistic philosophic or academic exploration of the same-sex marriage issue; I intend simply to point out how misleading and destructive Turek’s arguments are, and how their mischaracterizations of homosexuality, gay families and gay individuals create pain and harm to many. They do a disservice to our society, perpetuate stereotypes and nurture an environment for discrimination. This is not a scholarly article but is merely an attempt to give recourses for those confronted with such arguments and their intellectual cousins.

The first part of Turek’s argument is broken down into four sections that I will, for clarity, address individually in the same order as Turek presents them. I will use Turek’s term of “natural marriage” despite its misleading and unsubstantiated implications.  He defines marriage as natural “because of the natural biological compatibility of male and female bodies…” despite marriage and coupling in our species and others being far more complicated than the biological ability to reproduce. As Joan Roughgarden, a professor of biological sciences and geophysics at Stanford, points out:

“Overall, it is clear that homosexuality is not some peculiar anomaly found only in human beings. It is a natural component of the social systems of many animal species. The natural history of these species suggests that homosexuality, together with other forms of physical intimacy, sustains the social infrastructure within which offspring are raised. Homosexuality is not against nature, it is an adaptive part of nature. The perorate stance of medicine toward such people is scientifically uninformed.  To the extent that information about nature can inform theological discourse on human and biological diversity, the message for full and proper inclusion of gay, lesbian, and transgender persons is clear and unequivocal.” [i]

Describing homosexual relationships as unnatural fails even beyond humans, as animals have been observed forming homosexual relationships in more than 450 species.[ii] We are beginning to understand why homosexuality may play important social and evolutionary roles in nature.[iii] Turek’s type of sleight-of-hand simplification in using misleading terms like “natural marriage” preys on a basic lack of understanding of current evolutionary science, how genes function and the genotype/phenotype distinction.[iv] His assumptions about homosexuality blatantly ignore any scientific progress made since the 1990s.[v]

Turek’s attempt to define “natural” and thereby unnatural marriage is simply inaccurate and not grounded in biological reality. It is intended to bias the reader from the outset. It is misleading, and I believe it is meant to be misleading. After all, if you think one type of marriage is natural (good), and the other is unnatural (bad), then most of your work to create disdain for same-sex marriage is done. Your arguments are just icing on the cake to an already convinced audience.

Further, this all ignores the fact that marriage is a social contract, and a completely social construct. Calling marriage natural is like calling contracts natural. While some argue that rights are “natural” in their origins, Turek’s claim is that marriage is not a universal right and therefore is not a natural right. Turek simply seems to want to redefine the term natural to suit his purposes. 

Now to his four arguments: 

“1) Natural Marriage protects and provides the most stable, balanced and nurturing environment for children.”

Turek does not give evidence for why biological parents, above adoptive or other family care, create a better environment for raising children. Children in two-parent homes tend to do better for a number of reasons, including having a more stable economic standard and generally less stress in the home.[vi] Turek, however, lists statistics all correlated with economic standing, divorce, social pressures, hunger and food availability, and a number of other factors not related to the biological status of the parents. The biology of the parents has very little effect on a child’s successful rearing, but may be connected to “…findings on the strong correlations between socioeconomic status and all categories of maltreatment are consistent with earlier NIS findings on household income.”[vii] In fact, the largest overall category of neglect is educational neglect, effected largely by income, “which represents 47% of all children who experienced Harm Standard neglect.”[viii] A strong correlation is seen between parents’ employment and maltreatment. [ix]Further, the best indicator of abuse continues to low socioeconomic standards.[x] While married biological parents provide homes with the least abuse of those studied, married nonbiological parents also provide better than unmarried, nonbiological parents.[xi]  Even if Turek could substantiate the claim that same-sex couples create a less-successful environment for raising children than that of the original biological parents, based solely on abuse indicators, it would not follow that it would be beneficial or constitutional to deny parents the right to marry and raise their children in sub-optimal environments. To do so would violate the Constitution’s protection against being “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”[xii]  In other words, if the government does not have an overly compelling interest to deny someone a basic liberty afforded to others, it should not do so.

But above and beyond this, research has shown that same-sex marriages provide all of the same benefits to children.[xiii] Some evidence would indicate that children with gay parents actually do better in some measurements than those with straight parents.[xiv] Turek also fails to mention that organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics support same-gender civil marriage. According to the AAP, “A great deal of scientific research documents there is no cause-and-effect relationship between parents’ sexual orientation and children’s well-being.”[xv]

Adding to this supportive research, “In the US, around 37% of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people have a child, about 60% of which are biological. According to the Williams Institute, gay couples who have children have an average of two.”[xvi] So in fact, many same-sex married couples not only provide a two-parent home, but are biological parents as well. Turek would have us believe that despite the lack of any studies or evidence demonstrating different-sex biological households provide radically better environments to raise children, we could reasonably promote one over the other.

On the specific comment about the natural “balance” of the man/woman home, I am not sure why a married household would better provide this balance than an unmarried one, or why this is assumed to be biological and not a social creation. It’s actually an indication of gender-role discrimination and differentiation that often is loaded in with such conservative ideology. Is a stay-at-home dad who is very sensitive an unnatural parent? If indeed simply marriage, and not “natural marriage,” whatever that means, is what creates a positive effect, wouldn’t we want gay and lesbian couples to also provide stable homes for children?

“2) Natural Marriage civilizes men.”

Turek might be shocked to know that there are married gang members. I doubt he spends much time with gang members in general. His comments also betray a racial undertone in his beliefs, regarding the failure of marriage in poverty-stricken minority neighborhoods, and how uncivilized poor socioeconomic areas are. This argument again assumes the biological necessity of gender roles, which is a shameful claim to be made by someone purporting to present expertise in a given area. If marriage is “natural” based on biology, why do we shift to the benefits of social gender roles? There is nothing natural about marriage or about gender roles.

Turek is remaking a claim that has been picked apart by psychologists.[xvii] Would we not be better off transforming our non-natural, unhealthy gender roles that create “uncivilized” men? Perhaps our limiting of marriage to male/female relationships reinforces an unhealthy gender role in men. And, if being in a relationship provides a naturally civilizing role, would you not wish gay and lesbian couples to socially experience the same thing? Again, even if there is a civilizing effect, how would the expansion of marriage negatively impact our society rather than adding new benefits? We do know that states with legal same-sex marriage have lower overall divorce rates.[xviii] It would seem that same-sex marriage only magnifies this civilizing effect for all people.

“3) Natural Marriage protects women from being used and abandoned by uncommitted men.”

If the goal were to have committed relations, so that stable, two-parent units raise children, would not gay marriage protect against abandonment? It also would be helpful in raising the working wage, improving education, solving hunger and health care issues and providing a more stable social environment. Sex-same marriage would not undo any of the current benefits but create new ones.

“4) Natural Marriage lowers social costs.”

Watch the sleight of hand from “Natural Marriage” to two-parent homes. The social advantage is from two-parent homes, not from male/female relationships. This is an argument for equal marriage. More married parents – gay or straight – helps reduce the social burden.

So, in Part 1, Turek has given us excellent reasons to believe that equal marriage would provide a huge social benefit. He accomplished his deception by swapping the terms “natural marriage” and “two-parent” as being the same, and they clearly are not. He has attempted to show benefits that only male/female marriage would create.

As stated by the APA, “It is also reasonable to suggest that the stability of same-sex couples might be enhanced if partners from same-sex couples enjoyed the same levels of support and recognition for their relationships as heterosexual couples do, i.e., legal rights and responsibilities associated with marriage.”[xix]

Part 2

In the second part of his article, Turek argues that inequality in marriage rights is an acceptable form of discrimination based on what he calls the 3 Ps. According to Turek, the government can undertake three basic actions when it comes to behavior: prohibit, permit or promote. Turek believes that we should permit homosexuality, but that is reasonable for the government to promote heterosexual unions without promoting same-sex marriages.

Turek argues that our laws promote beneficial behavior in “natural marriage.” According to the APA, “Research over several decades has demonstrated that sexual orientation ranges along a continuum, from exclusive attraction to the same sex.” Turek ignores that same-sex marriage, just like what he deems “natural marriage,” depends not just on biological sex (which can be complicated enough) but on gender identity and social gender role as well. This is a common error as “sexual orientation is commonly discussed as if it were solely a characteristic of an individual, like biological sex, gender identity, or age. This perspective is incomplete because sexual is defined in terms of relationship with others.”[xx]

One may then ask why Turek holds that homosexual “behavior” (which again is incredibly misleading) does not “perpetuate or stabilize society.” He has in no way demonstrated why homosexual unions would not stabilize or perpetuate society. Historically, same-sex couples have been recognized as a stabilizing force in many cultures and across many faiths. An overwhelming number of medical and psychological organizations do so as well, throughout the United States and in nearly every other First World country. Eighteen countries fully allow same-sex marriage, and society has not unraveled in those places.[xxi] If Turek is asserting that marriage is not a basic right, which would be surprising given his huge emphasis on how marriage undergirds the very fabric of society, he fails to demonstrate why the government should not also promote same-sex marriage. It would provide many of the same social benefits, and perhaps more, considering the adoption rate is much higher among same-sex couples, and we desperately need stable adoptive homes.

For Turek “…everyone has the same equal right to marry a qualified person of the opposite sex. That law treats every man and woman equally, but not every behavior they may desire equally.” Yet that is exactly what equality means. While it may be interesting to talk about police officers and how not everyone is a cop, I do not see the comparison between a noncritical social office and a fundamental institution so critical to the survival of the society and species that a “natural” type of it could be argued to exist. A useful comparison with the police force would be the state refusing police access to people based on gender, which it once did. If your gender was used as a basis to restrict employment or promotion on a public police force, that would be a similar comparison. But, in the way that Turek has used the police force, I do not understand how comparing marriage equality to having police is reasonable, or helpful.

What does seem to be a fair comparison is same-sex union and interracial marriage. Though they differ in some important ways, many elements seem to be the same.  Brown v. Board of Education, which established much of the groundwork for the expansion of racial equality rights, still appears to lay foundational groundwork for our consideration here. If separate access to basic government, institutional resources is inherently unequal, then we must explain an overwhelmingly compelling reason why the restriction of those basic liberties would be allowed. According to Turek’s own argument, marriage allows parents to do a better job of raising children. That means that when the government allows some access to the benefit of this institution, it is allowing some of the societal benefits marriage provides for a couple’s children while denying it to others, solely based on their sex. According to Turek, there is no loss to unfairness inherent in providing a more stable home, but denying it to others based on gender. The same reasoning laid the root of limiting marriage by color as that of gender equality in marriage, the root of same-sex marriage. One discriminates based on color, the other about sex. While marriage exists as an option for different-sex couples regardless of age, intention to have children, ability to reproduce, quality of parents or criminal records, Turek believes that same-sex couples should be restricted from receiving the same governmental benefits given to couples bases solely on their chromosomal structure. This tells us even less how those people with Turner syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, or any number of other chromosomal structures or syndromes that affect sex should fit into Turek’s narrow conception of natural marriage.

Similar biological claims also laid the foundation for marriage segregation. Its best defense lay in the claim that each person had the same expression of right to marry someone of the same race, so no person had been granted a right different than anyone else. Turek’s arguments strike an amazing resemblance to the argument used to prohibit interracial marriage, for the benefit of society and for clear biological reasons. As William N. Eskridge points out in his comprehensive article, “A History of Same Sex Marriage,”[xxii] the Virginia Supreme Court held in Naim v Naim (1955) that “to regulate the marriage relation so that it shall not have a mongrel breed of citizens. We find there no requirement that the State shall not legislate to prevent the obliteration of racial pride, but must permit the corruption of blood, even though it weaken or destroy the quality of its citizenship.”  And in Scott v. Georgia (1869) “equality [of the races does not in fact exist, and never can. The God of nature made it otherwise, and no human law can produce it, and no human tribunal can enforce it. There are gradations and classes throughout the universe. From the tallest arch angel in Heaven, down to the meanest reptile on earth, moral and social inequalities exist, and must continue to exist through all eternity.” These cases make clear that they believed that race was also a biological issue to be considered in marriage.

Bolling v. Sharpe (1954) provided that equal protection, apply through the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment to the states and the federal government, making any liberties that fall under it protected issues that are not up to each state to adjudicate independently. In Loving v. Virginia (1967), Chief Justice Warren’s opinion for the majority of the court made clear that discrimination could not be used as the basis for restriction of marriage access:

“Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival…. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.”[xxiii]

“There is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this classification. The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy.”

The court held that the State’s only true purpose was to discriminate based on race, regardless of previous claims of biological necessity, protection of the family or other reason, since marriage is so basic a right. In Perry v. Schwarzenegger —which overturned California’s Proposition 8 (which restricted marriage to opposite-sex couples)— Judge Vaughn R. Walker cited Loving v. Virginia to conclude, “the [constitutional] right to marry protects an individual’s choice of marital partner regardless of gender.”[xxiv]  Walker concluded:

“Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license… Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents Californians from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriage on an equal basis.”[xxv]

Walker believed that it was a natural extension of constitutional equality regardless of biological color, and that gender equality was also constitutionally extended. The American Bar Association agrees, advising “state, territorial, and tribal governments to eliminate all of their legal barriers to civil marriage between two persons of the same sex who are otherwise eligible to marry.”[xxvi]

In 2007, Mildred Loving issued the following statement connecting her interracial marriage case to that of same-sex unions: “I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry… I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight, seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.”

Turek makes allusions to the historical nature of our current understanding of marriage, but a quick study of marriage in tribal cultures and varying social structures does not bear out the idea that our recent understanding of marriage is “natural” at all. Historical marriage might surprise people in many of things that it actually was. [xxvii] Many scholars, including Eskridge have tracked a rich history of same-sex coupling recognized in cultures from around the world. Many cultures have complicated, long histories of same-sex coupling well documented in scholarly and legal journals.

I think my favorite of Turek’s arguments, however, follows:

“…everyone puts limits on marriage—if marriage had no definition it wouldn’t be anything. Even most same-sex marriage proponents want to define marriage in such a way so groups cannot marry and relatives cannot marry. Are those homosexual activists bigots when they advocate that marriage not include groups, relatives or other parties? Of course not! They are not violating anyone’s rights. Likewise, conservatives who advocate that marriage not include same-sex relationships are not violating anyone’s rights either. Defining marriage in accordance with the facts of nature is not bigotry—it’s biology.”

This to me shows the final desperation of the argument. There is no person who has the ability to marry an immediate family member in our society. No person has the ability to marry multiple people. Some people have the ability to marry someone who is legally defined as a man, and some people have the ability to marry someone who is legally defined as a woman, despite these biological and gender definitions being somewhat arbitrary. If a person’s right to marry another person of their choice is restricted by gender, it is a form of gender discrimination. We may restrict the rights of every person, regardless of gender from marrying a sibling, but we do so for a compelling reason of consequence to the offspring.

Turek further insists on defining homosexuality as a behavior. In doing so he requires that someone rejects the actual definition of homosexuality, according to the American Psychological Association, which describes it as “an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic and/or sexual attraction” but also “refers to a person’s sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions.”[xxviii]

But in the end, Turek’s fear mongering is most clearly seen in, “What would be the benefits to society if everyone lived faithfully in same-sex marriage? It would be the end of society itself.” It would? We could not still reproduce? Ever? No future science, current science or cultural adaptations? 37% of gay couples have children. Many of those are biological.

Same-sex couples are healthy, productive, wonderful members of society. They raise wonderful children and make incredible families. Their children are no more likely to be gay, and I doubt that our recognizing them as equal members of society with the same basic rights as heterosexuals would end marriage as we know it, or cause the collapse of society.

On the deepest level, Turek’s statements are perhaps more disturbing because he acknowledges how very important marriage is, and then denies a segment of the population access to something that he describes as being critical to society and personal security. Although we do not yet have an understanding of all that contributes to sexual orientation, according to the APA, “most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.”[xxix]  According to Turek, the government should deny them access to what Justice Warren called a most basic of rights, because of something they have no control over, severely limiting their personal and parenting options.

One thing is clear: Real harm is done by the discrimination shown to the LGBTQ community. The APA affirms that, “prejudice and discrimination have social and person impacts.”[xxx]  It destroys lives and families, causes high rates of depression and suicide, and limits the parenting, job opportunities and relationship recognition of large parts of the population. On the other hand, there is no evidence of negative social or personal effects caused by homosexuality or by same-sex relationships. It would thereby seem reasonable, since there are social and personal benefits to extending marriage to same-sex couples, and there are no negative personal or social effects, that we should affirm same-sex unions. The only possible reason to restrict liberties to same-sex couples is direct prejudice. That prejudice may come from deeply held religious beliefs, but it is still prejudice. It furthers a social feeling that creates real and actual harm, and its perpetuation is destructive to our society and the people within it.

Turek’s arguments are presented in a way that seems reasonable, only if you sweep buckets of facts off the table, and reassemble an argument with only facts and pieces of research that lead to your conclusion. He contradicts or denies the opinions of nearly every psychological, psychiatric and medical body in the United States. He erases from history the clear track of the separation of church and state, ignoring cases like Reynolds v. United States [xxxi] as well as Madison’s own discussion as to the meaning of the First Amendment.[xxxii] He conflates gender, sex and sexual orientation, and he assumes that correlations mean causation. It may sell well on speaking tours, conservative websites and in books, but I fail to see how it is helpful to the real conversation.

Turek in other posts has claimed that the refusal of what he calls “homosexual activists” to accept his views as anything other than prejudice is its own form of bigotry. I would like to take issue with that claim specifically. Calling something prejudice, or bigotry, simply means that someone holds intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself. Notice intolerance does not necessitate acceptance of ideas, but it does not also require that a space be given to expose those prejudiced ideas to those directly affected by the discriminatory views. The American Medical Association describes the resistance to marriage equality as a form of discrimination.[xxxiii]

“Our American Medical Association: (1) recognizes that denying civil marriage based on sexual orientation is discriminatory and imposes harmful stigma on gay and lesbian individuals and couples and their families; (2) recognizes that exclusion from civil marriage contributes to health care disparities affecting same-sex households; (3) will work to reduce health care disparities among members of same-sex households including minor children; and (4) will support measures providing same-sex households with the same rights and privileges to health care, health insurance, and survivor benefits, as afforded opposite-sex households.”[xxxiv]

These are not points of view that we should equivocate in effect. On one side, the actions of Turek and those like him cause actual prejudice, harm or injury that results or may result from their bigotry, according to the AMA and APA. On the other side, naming the intolerance has no lasting demonstrated consequences. Certainly there is heart-felt disagreement over these issues. But still, the people harmed by the resulting conflict are all on one side.

We must be able to hold that condemning Neo-Nazi views is not the same intolerance shown by a Neo-Nazi publicly announcing black people have biologically inferior brains, or are culturally inferior. To be tolerant of people is not to be, as Turek points out, promoting their behavior. To use Turek’s own conclusion, the most loving thing we might do for someone who willfully or unknowingly is causing real harm to real people through their actions is to name that action for what it is, prejudice. According to the APA, “The prejudice and discrimination that people who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual regularly experience have been shown to have negative psychological effects.” When a pattern of damage is recognized by the APA, the American Medical Association, The American Academy of Pediatrics and nearly 30 other professional scientific and medical bodies, it is not reasonable to hold that all of them are part of a great conspiracy.

We should not pretend that these arguments are made in a vacuum. The arguments are not just about ideas; they’re about people. For one side, these are ideas about other people. For the other, these are arguments about the right to exist as others exist – to form families and fully participate in our social life. While that does not preclude the discussion, it is not fair to force LGBTQ+ to argue and claw for their own existence on the terms of those who are directly or indirectly causing them harm.

Further, Turek’s many blogs and public addresses have nothing of the soft tenor of someone trying to lovingly engage in a public discourse, despite his claims. His blogs have always been weaponized, and have the tenor of the aggression they show.

Turek has parlayed his dismissal from two private companies for public anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic and anti-gay comments into a lucrative conservative Christian business. Turek traffics in comments linking things like pedophilia to homosexuality.[xxxv] He perfectly highlights the dangerous overlap between religiously based discrimination, and a lucrative political system, which provides a living for pundits who undergird painful and destructive discrimination through half-truths and religious fervor.

 

Here is Glaad’s page about Turek:

http://www.glaad.org/cap/frank-turek

 


 

[i] Roughgarden, Joan. “Evolutionary Biology and Sexual Diversity.” In God, Science, Sex, Gender, by Particia Beattie Jung, 89-103. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2010.

– Roughgarden gives an excellent overview of the current evolutionary understanding of homosexuality in nature.

[ii] “Do Animals Exhibit Homosexuality?” Yale Scientific Magazine. March 14, 2014. Accessed January 19, 2015. http://www.yalescientific.org/2012/03/do-animals-exhibit-homosexuality/.

[iii] Bailey, Nathan, and Marlene Zuk. “Same-sex Sexual Behavior and Evolution – Review.”Trends in Ecology and Evolution 24, no. 8 (2009): 439-46.

[iv] For more information see – Wanger, Andreas. Arrival of the Fittest: Solving Evolution’s Greatest Puzzle”, New York: Penguin Publishing Group, 2014.

[v] Kremer, William. “The Evolutionary Puzzle of Homosexuality.” BBC News. February 17, 2014. Accessed January 19, 2015. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26089486.

[vi] “A Coordinated Response to Child Abuse and Neglect: The Foundation for Practice.” – Child Welfare Information Gateway. Accessed December 12, 2015. https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/foundation/foundatione.cfm.

[vii] Sedlak, A.J., Mettenburg, J., Basena, M., Petta, I., McPherson, K., Greene, A., and Li, S. (2010). Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS–4): Report to Congress.Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. (NIS-4)

[viii] NIS-4 (3-10)

[ix] NIS-4 (5-3)

[x] NIS-4 (5-10)

[xi] NIS-4 (5-20)

[xii] From the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

[xiii] Barlow, Rich. “Gay Parents As Good As Straight Ones | BU Today | Boston University.” BU Today RSS. April 11, 2013. Accessed January 19, 2015. http://www.bu.edu/today/2013/gay-parents-as-good-as-straight-ones/.

[xiv] Bryner, Jeanna. “Children Raised by Lesbians Do Just Fine, Studies Show.” LiveScience. February 8, 2010. Accessed January 19, 2015. http://www.livescience.com/6073-children-raised-lesbians-fine-studies-show.html.

[xv] “American Academy of Pediatrics Supports Same Gender Civil Marriage.” American Academy of Pediatrics Supports Same Gender Civil Marriage. Accessed December 10, 2014. http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/American-Academy-of-Pediatrics-Supports-Same-Gender-Civil-Marriage.aspx#sthash.VdHewj0L.dpufh.

[xvi] Kremer, William. “The Evolutionary Puzzle of Homosexuality.” BBC News. February 17, 2014. Accessed January 19, 2015. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26089486.

[xvii] DePaulo, Bella. “Does Marriage Civilize Men?” Does Marriage Civilize Men? April 12, 2010. Accessed January 19, 2015. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/living-single/201004/does-marriage-civilize-men.

[xviii] Mallon, Bridget. “Gay Marriage: States That Allow Same-Sex Unions Have Lower Divorce Rates.” The Huffington Post. June 27, 2013. Accessed January 19, 2015. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/27/gay-marriage_n_3513028.html.

[xix] American Psychological Association. (2008). Answers to your questions: For a better understanding of sexual orientation and homosexuality. Washington, DC: Author. (APA)

[xx] APA 2008

[xxi] “Gay Marriage Around the World.” Pew Research Centers Religion Public Life Project RSS. December 18, 2013. Accessed January 19, 2015. http://www.pewforum.org/2013/12/19/gay-marriage-around-the-world-2013/.

[xxii] Eskridge, William N. Jr., “A History of Same Sex Marriage” (1993). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 1504. http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/fss_papers/1504

[xxiii] LOVING v. VIRGINIA, 388 U.S. 1 (1967) 388 U.S. 1,Decided June 12, 1967.

[xxiv] Judge Vaughn R. Walker, Perry v. Schwarzenegger

[xxv] Perry v. Schwarzengger (2011)

http://documents.nytimes.com/us-district-court-decision-perry-v-schwarzenegger

[xxvi] American Bar Association, Resolution 111. http://gaymarriage.procon.org/sourcefiles/American-Bar-Association-gay-marriage.pdf

[xxvii]   Ghose, Tia. “History of Marriage: 13 Surprising Facts.” LiveScience. June 26, 2013. Accessed January 19, 2015. http://www.livescience.com/37777-history-of-marriage.html.

[xxviii] APA 2008

[xxix] APA 2008

[xxx] APA 2008

[xxxi] Reynolds v. United States (1878)

[xxxii] Madison, John “Personal Papers” August 15, 1789

[xxxiii] “American Medical Association Makes Case for Ending Marriage Discrimination | Freedom to Marry.” American Medical Association Makes Case for Ending Marriage Discrimination | Freedom to Marry. Accessed December 10, 2015. http://www.freedomtomarry.org/resources/entry/american-medical-association-makes-case-for-ending-marriage-discrimination.

[xxxiv] The American Medical Association Statement H-65.973 “Health Care Disparities in Same-Sex Partner Households” adopted Monday, June 20th

[xxxv] “Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters: Frank Turek Is a Liar.” Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters. Accessed January 20, 2015. http://holybulliesandheadlessmonsters.blogspot.com/2011/09/frank-turek-is-liar.html#.VFgu3lPF_xg.

 

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