www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

Water vision -7/29/2014, 9:48 AM

No longer a supporter -7/29/2014, 9:47 AM

The power of punctuation -7/29/2014, 9:47 AM

Running for the wrong bus -7/28/2014, 9:04 AM

Old Old Mexico -- Culture and content -7/28/2014, 9:03 AM

The defining issue of economic recovery -7/27/2014, 4:53 PM

In a world of sectarian violence, what can be done? -7/27/2014, 4:53 PM

Funding DHDC -7/27/2014, 1:18 PM

Endorsement for Shultz -7/25/2014, 3:28 PM

Against the wind -7/25/2014, 4:23 PM

Do blacks need favors? -7/25/2014, 4:23 PM

Vote Huelskamp out -7/25/2014, 4:23 PM

Open meetings -7/24/2014, 8:07 AM

Leadership change needed -7/24/2014, 8:07 AM

Vote for Huelskamp -7/24/2014, 8:06 AM

Protecting unborn children -7/24/2014, 8:06 AM

Learning experience valuable -7/24/2014, 8:06 AM

False equivalence -7/23/2014, 8:07 AM

Measles' scary comeback -7/23/2014, 1:27 PM

The 'big data' deal -7/23/2014, 10:07 AM

GOP can't get out of its own way -7/23/2014, 10:07 AM

War only will add to Middle East problems -7/22/2014, 8:10 AM

Avoiding taxes -7/22/2014, 8:10 AM

Take the win in Iran -7/21/2014, 8:57 AM

The high court's high-handedness -7/21/2014, 8:57 AM

Up in arms in the Capitol -7/20/2014, 4:52 PM

Firefighters weigh in on pay raise -7/20/2014, 4:52 PM

Backpacks for Kids -7/20/2014, 4:52 PM

Our unwillingness to defend ourselves -7/18/2014, 10:51 AM

Remembering a man who championed freedom -7/18/2014, 10:51 AM

GOP split -7/17/2014, 8:38 AM

New Kansas senator -7/17/2014, 8:37 AM

Who'll build the roads? -7/17/2014, 8:37 AM

Reagan: In or out? -7/16/2014, 2:45 PM

'Unbroken' WWII vet more than a hero -7/16/2014, 2:44 PM

Savor the fruits of your labor -7/16/2014, 2:44 PM

Erasing candidate's standards -7/15/2014, 11:36 AM

Returning to Trail Wood -7/15/2014, 10:13 AM

Leaving some in 'suspense' -7/15/2014, 10:13 AM

Strangers in a remarkable land -7/14/2014, 9:11 AM

Courageous or spineless? Our actions decide -7/14/2014, 9:11 AM

Ambition: An unlikely gift to Kansas voters -7/13/2014, 11:16 AM

Beyond the outrage -7/13/2014, 11:16 AM

Water watch -7/13/2014, 11:16 AM

Scenic outlooks -7/11/2014, 9:18 AM

China's research trumps teaching -7/11/2014, 9:17 AM

Important slow news -7/10/2014, 9:42 AM

We've got a promise to keep -7/10/2014, 9:33 AM

The white combine calls -7/9/2014, 10:02 AM

Vote for family values -7/9/2014, 10:02 AM

Politicians making a mockery of my faith -7/9/2014, 10:02 AM

Missing tribute -7/9/2014, 10:02 AM

Rural students deserve 21st Century education -7/8/2014, 9:10 AM

The education table dance -7/8/2014, 9:10 AM

A new virus -7/8/2014, 9:10 AM

Government as God -7/7/2014, 9:38 AM

EPA affecting others -7/7/2014, 9:38 AM

'Narrow' decision from the narrow-minded -7/7/2014, 9:38 AM

The tax trap -7/6/2014, 4:35 PM

Rulings produce 'First Amendment fireworks' -7/6/2014, 4:35 PM

Firefighter salaries -7/6/2014, 4:35 PM

Economic freedom -7/4/2014, 11:54 AM

Protecting our independence -7/4/2014, 11:54 AM

Dan Johnson, 1936-2014 -7/3/2014, 7:12 AM

New Iraq offensive backfires -7/3/2014, 7:11 AM

Setting things straight -7/3/2014, 7:11 AM

'Crapitalism' -7/3/2014, 7:11 AM

Feeding peace throughout the world -7/2/2014, 9:01 AM

Half way is still only half way -7/2/2014, 9:01 AM

Sherow a better choice -7/2/2014, 9:01 AM

Fireworks, part II -7/2/2014, 9:01 AM

Reality show made in Topeka -7/1/2014, 8:53 AM

The justices and their cellphones -7/1/2014, 8:53 AM

LOB defeated -7/1/2014, 8:53 AM

Tragedy explored in 'Broken Heart Land' -6/30/2014, 9:14 AM

Mexico City: The adventure continues -6/30/2014, 9:14 AM

Even our youngest Americans are citizens -6/29/2014, 12:58 PM

Ban on fireworks -6/29/2014, 12:58 PM

It's time to teach active citizenship -6/29/2014, 12:57 PM

The education establishment's success -6/27/2014, 10:39 AM

Piecework professors -6/27/2014, 10:39 AM

Marriage for all -6/27/2014, 10:39 AM

Prairie chicken madness -6/26/2014, 4:17 PM

Omission control -6/26/2014, 10:12 AM

Equal in the eyes of the law -6/26/2014, 10:12 AM

Help wanted -6/26/2014, 10:12 AM

The old red barn -6/25/2014, 9:19 AM

Beware the unimaginable -6/25/2014, 9:19 AM

Early critic of school testing was right -6/24/2014, 8:53 AM

Finding something 'different' in Topeka -6/24/2014, 8:53 AM

Shopping small -6/24/2014, 8:53 AM

Into the classroom -6/23/2014, 8:55 AM

Wow! And thanks to you -6/23/2014, 8:55 AM

Fireworks double-standard -6/23/2014, 8:55 AM

Glass half full -6/22/2014, 5:57 PM

Brownback's experiment wallops taxpayers -6/22/2014, 5:56 PM

Examining the importance of 'where' we speak -6/22/2014, 5:56 PM

Slavery reparations -6/20/2014, 8:33 AM

'Help me plagiarize' -6/20/2014, 8:33 AM

Thank a farmer -6/20/2014, 8:33 AM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Same-sex parents

Published on -7/4/2013, 9:41 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

When the U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional, it also struck a lot of raw nerves. A national survey from the Pew Research Center revealed 45 percent of Americans approved of the decision, while 40 percent disapproved. That gap mirrored the 5-4 split at the nation's highest court.

Before delving into some of the reactions prompted by DOMA's undoing, let's look at the decision itself.

It did not, for instance, proclaim same-sex marriage rights the law of the land. It did say federal benefits would have to be paid to gay couples married in states that recognize such unions. To do otherwise would violate the Fifth Amendment's guarantee that "no person shall ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion, basically reaffirmed states have the right to decide the matter. He said DOMA essentially overrode states attempting to treat heterosexual and homosexual marriages alike.

"The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the state, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity," Justice Kennedy wrote.

Many legal scholars and lawmakers alike can read the writing on the wall, however. This case likely will be used in attempts to overturn the various laws 38 states, including Kansas, have in effect to avoid giving equal treatment to gay and lesbian couples.

Those opposed to such treatment are outraged by the court's decision. Much like every other decision ultraconservatives don't agree with, the Supreme Court was deemed "activist."

But since this decision involved gay rights, the proclamations went much further.

A spokesman for the American Family Association claimed: "The DOMA ruling has now made the normalization of polygamy, pedophilia, incest and bestiality inevitable." The Westboro Baptist Church equated the decision with "USA's doom." And the Family Research Council is very upset florists throughout the country no longer will be allowed to discriminate by not decorating gay weddings.

Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., said the "Court had neither logic nor constitutional principles in mind" in making the ruling that will cause "harm to America's children and all of society."

As such, Huelskamp hopes to amend the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. He cites all the research suggesting "children do best when they have a married mom and dad in the home."

Never mind the fact the Constitution doesn't specifically give the right to the federal government to decide matters of marriage. Huelskamp generally cites the 10th Amendment any time he is arguing the overreach of the feds, so he is aware of this. It will be tough to amend something that doesn't exist.

Perhaps a more useful item for the congressman to concentrate on, if he's truly interested in promoting kids in "traditional" settings and not simply espousing homophobic rhetoric, would be looking at actual trends.

Thirty-five percent of children are being raised in single-parent households. More than 3 million U.S. children witness domestic violence firsthand. Four percent of children are being raised by their grandparents. Barely half of Americans are married. Half of all marriages end in divorce or annulment.

On the other side of the coin, a mere 3.5 percent of Americans self-identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual. The real number likely is much higher, if this country actually offered equal treatment of all people. When people are harassed, bullied, beat up and even killed simply because they're attracted to the same sex -- or the perpetrator believes they are -- that will keep a lot of people closeted.

But here's a number Huelskamp and others should really pay close attention. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of same-sex couple households with children in this country is 115,064.

That is a ridiculously low number to change the U.S. Constitution for, even if the assumptions being made about such households were true. Equally ridiculous is the assumption two men or two women can't master parenting skills.

Rep. Huelskamp and others should reassess their seemingly prejudicial stances. Clinging to outdated notions of traditional families and the stability they possess simply reveals a lack of knowledge about reality. Most Americans understand this.

A much bigger threat to American children is having elected officials trying to "protect" them.

Editorial by Patrick Lowry

plowry@dailynews.net

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos

AP Breaking News
AP Nation-World News

View this site in another language.

Kansas News