Texas Appeals Ruling Striking Down Same-Sex Marriage Ban — For The Children


Attorney General Greg Abbott just appealed a federal court ruling that found the Texas ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Why? For the children.

One day after the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a same-sex marriage ban in Virginia, Republican Greg Abbott, running to become the next governor of Texas, is appealing a federal judge's ruling that found the Lone Star State's 2005 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. And he's doing it, according to the filing, for the children.

Texas ranks at or near the bottom in children's access to healthcare. Almost one out of five children in Texas, according to a 2011 article by the Commonwealth Fund, is uninsured. Compare that to just 3 percent of children in Massachusetts. And the United Health Foundation notes that in Texas,

Immunization coverage among children decreased by 12 percent in the past year, from 72.7 percent to 64.8 percent of children aged 19 to 35 months.

In his federal filing today, Abbott proclaims that Texas' "recognition and encouragement of opposite-sex marriages increases the likelihood that naturally procreative couples will produce children, and that they will do so in the context of stable, lasting relationships."

In other words, same-sex marriages cannot produce children (false) and are not stable or lasting (also false.)

"By encouraging the formation of opposite-sex marriages," Abbott argues, "the State seeks not only to encourage procreation but also to minimize the societal costs that can result from procreation out- side of stable, lasting marriages. Because same-sex relationships do not natu- rally produce children, recognizing same-sex marriage does not further these goals to the same extent that recognizing opposite-sex marriage does."

Amusingly, perhaps, Abbott argues that marriage laws are almost the result of irresponsible heterosexual couples.

"The State's decision to regulate opposite-sex relationships through marriage flows from a recognition of the costs imposed on society when the procreative power of those relationships is used irresponsibly, not from a desire to demean or harm anyone."

In other words, straight couples accidentally make babies -- gay couples do not, and that's a reason to restrict their civil rights, according to Abbott.

Here's the complete ruling, thanks to Equality Case Files



Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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