Michigan Officials Admit Same-Sex Families Exist, But Still Want To Deny Them Legal Protections


Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette

CREDIT: Jeff Schrier,

The Michigan state officials defending the state’s bans on same-sex marriage and adoption have revealed some new anti-gay animus in their latest filing. Earlier this week, they explained that they believe marriage is important to “regulate sexual relationships.” Now, they’ve admitted that they understand that there are same-sex families living in Michigan — a notion marriage equality opponents often avoid — but they don’t see any reason to provide them with the legal protections of marriage and adoption:

No single person — regardless of sex or sexual orientation — may join with another single person to adopt a child in Michigan. Further, the fact that same-sex families exist in Michigan does not in and of itself make irrational the State’s position that, all things being equal, it is optimal for children to be raised in a family where both sexes are represented.

The assumption behind this argument is that somehow children will wind up with opposite-sex parents if same-sex families are not permitted joint adoption. Not acknowledging how those very families would benefit from marriage and adoption, they go on to defend this bizarre notion with the flawed Regnerus study, claiming that it is the only valid study on same-sex parenting the court should consider:

Finally, Plaintiffs’ challenge to the Regnerus study does nothing to negate the deficiencies of the studies identified by Regnerus, i.e., that they were biased or had too small of a sample size. In fact, in their attack on the study, Plaintiffs actually bolster the State Defendants’ position — that the same-sex marriage is too new for data and studies to be conclusive. At minimum, with ample support on both sides of the issue, the matter is at least debatable, and Plaintiffs, therefore, fail to meet their burden of showing that there is no rational basis for Michigan’s Adoption Code.

This amounts to a concession that Regnerus’ study actually had nothing to say about committed same-sex couples raising children, but the Michigan Attorney General’s office is still humoring Regnerus’ claim that none of the studies that actually evaluate same-sex parenting are valid. Contrary to claims that the question is “debatable,” there is actually consensus among mental health and medical professionals that same-sex couples should legally be allowed to both marry and adopt children together. Given Regnerus has a bias against marriage equality and he intentionally manipulated research to make a false case against it, he’s neither an objective nor reliable source when it comes to the question of whether the lesbian couple in this case should be allowed to jointly adopt the three children they’re already raising together.

(HT: Kathleen Perrin.)