What Judge McShane thinks he knows -- but is false

May 21, 2014

Federal judges seem to have entered into an echo chamber of political correctness in their recent rulings in support of the homosexual redefinition of marriage. They ignore or deny obvious truths (like the importance of procreation to the natural definition of marriage), while dogmatically asserting as true things which are either blatantly false or inherently unknowable.

The May 19, 2014 decision by U. S. District Court Judge Michael J. McShane (Geiger v. Kitzhaber), striking down Oregon’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, was yet another example. I will not bother going through his decision point by point to refute it, since it varies little from the similar decisions handed down by other judges in recent months. Those interested in why these judges have it wrong should refer to the recent FRC paper, Marriage on Trial: State Laws Defining Marriage as the Union of One Man and One Woman Are Valid under the Constitution of the United States.

In the case of the Geiger decision, I would just like to point out Judge McShane’s maddening sense of certainty in asserting things which are either a) blatantly false, or b) inherently unknowable.

In the former category (blatantly false) is virtually everything McShane says about the research on children raised by homosexual parents. The judge first notes that under Oregon law, the “relationship between child and parents is the same regardless of parents’ marital status,” and regardless of how the child was conceived.

“Oregon’s policies accept that children fare the same whether raised by opposite-gender or same-gender couples,” McShane then declares.

He cites a judge in Michigan who declared that “there is simply no scientific basis to conclude that children raised in same-sex households fare worse than those raised in heterosexual households.” He cites the decision of Judge Vaughn Walker (who, like McShane, is himself homosexual) in the California Proposition 8 case, saying, “Children raised by gay or lesbian parents are as likely as children raised by heterosexual parents to be healthy, successful, and well-adjusted. The research supporting this conclusion is accepted beyond serious debate in the field of developmental psychology.”

McShane concludes, “The realization that same-gender couples make just as good parents as opposite-gender couples is supported by more than just common sense; it is also supported by ‘the vast majority of scientific studies’ examining the issue.”

It is hardly “common sense” to conclude that there is no advantage whatsoever to a child being raised by the man and woman who united to create it, nor to assert that homosexual couples constitute the lone exception to the overwhelmingly body of evidence that children do best when raised by their own biological mother and father who are committed to each other in a life-long marriage.

It may be true that the numerical count of “studies” purporting to support homosexual parenting is larger than the count of those questioning it; but this lack of “serious debate” is not because of the weight of scientific evidence, but because violating the ideological dictates of the pro-homosexual academy is likely to destroy a scholar’s career.

A summary of the older (pre-2004) evidence on children of homosexual parents can be found online in the FRC book, Getting It Straight. A more recent landmark was the 2012 publication of data from the New Family Structures Study of sociologist Mark Regnerus, which “show rather clearly that children raised by gay or lesbian parents on average are at a significant disadvantage when compared to children raised by the intact family of their married, biological mother and father.”

Almost as important, if not more so, was the article by Loren Marks in the same issue of Social Science Research, in which he pointed out the serious methodological weaknesses of the pro-homosexual parenting studies that are usually cited, saying, ““[N]ot one of the 59 studies referenced  . . . compares a large, random, representative sample of lesbian or gay parents and their children with a large, random, representative sample of married parents and their children.”

FRC previously published an overview of these studies, as well as a more detailed summary of the findings of the New Family Structures Study. (Homosexual activists are fond of referring to the Regnerus study as “discredited,” but this is simply untrue. Regnerus was completely exonerated of charges of academic misconduct by his employer, the University of Texas; and while an “internal audit” commissioned by Social Science Research was highly critical, the journal did not withdraw the paper.)

The Regnerus study does not stand alone in raising concerns about children of homosexual parents. Since it was published, there have been at least two other major studies using large sample sizes which have found similar deficits for such children on specific outcomes. One using U. S. Census data found, “Primary schoolchildren in married heterosexual households are 35 percent more likely to make typical school progress than peers in same-sex households.” Another based on the Canadian census reported “that the children of gay and lesbian couples are only about 65 percent as likely to have graduated from high school as the children of married, opposite-sex couples.”

While Judge McShane devoted a page to claims about what “the vast majority of scientific studies” say about homosexual parents, perhaps he was actually driven more by his own experience. McShane, an Obama appointee who has only been on the federal bench for a year, is openly homosexual and “is raising a child in a same-sex relationship,” according to USA Today.

Although making no comment about his partner, McShane did write about his son:

Even today I am reminded of the legacy that we have bequeathed today’s generation when my son looks dismissively at the sweater I bought him for Christmas and, with a roll of his eyes, says “dad . . . that is so gay.”

Will he declare eye-rolling to be unconstitutional next?