Susan Roylance: DOMA was meant to protect children, not 'injure' them


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  • gardenway Bountiful, Davis, UT
    July 3, 2013 9:51 p.m.

    Susan Roylance has been a champion of the family at the international level for over 30 years. Her experience and knowledge are invaluable. I applaud her dedication and tireless efforts to protect children.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    July 3, 2013 12:36 p.m.

    Roylance: "...[C]hildren appear most apt to succeed well as adults... when they spend their entire childhood with their married mother and father and especially when the parents remain married to the present day. It is in the interest of the country and the state to support and promote the family arrangements that give children the greatest opportunity to succeed."

    Agreed. So that is why why 35 states have recent constitutional amendments prohibiting divorce and why there was a massive voter initiative (lavishly funded by traditional family values organizations) in California to overturn legislation that allowed married couples with children to divorce. No, that never happened. I guess I was thinking of that other voter initiative that set out to prevent committed, loving couples with children from being able to marry. Tell me again how denying children the many documented benefits that accrue from having married parents is in their best interests.

    The "optimal child rearing arrangement" argument fails because family law allows many suboptimal arrangements. It is not sufficient to disallow one arrangement as inferior to the ideal when you allow many other alternatives that are far worse.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    July 3, 2013 12:26 p.m.

    Absolutely incredulous. Susan sites one very dubious and agenda-driven study. Nowhere in her piece did she explain how striking down DOMA hurts children in traditional families. During the cases, Justice Kennedy pointed out that in California alone there are 40,000 children who are not in legally recognized families. Is it possible that if they were children of a couple in a legal marriage and in a legal family, with the over 1,000 federal and state legal protections (tax benefits, inheritence, visitation rights, health decisions, health care, education grants etc.) that they would fare much better? That thought seemed to escape her completely.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    July 3, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    Roylance: "thanks to delegates from developing countries that still value families"

    Would these be the same West African and Middle Eastern countries where polygamy is the norm and homosexuality is criminalized? Where "hate the sin, love the sinner" is rendered in practice as "hate the sin, execute the sinner"? Perhaps they include Russia, where any positive support for homosexuality in the press or speech has been banned. It seems an odd strategy to ally your cause with oppressive, corrupt, violent regimes. Any port in a storm, I suppose. I invite Ms. Roylance to view the documentary film "God Loves Uganda" to see how "traditional values" American evangelicals are linked to antigay violence.

    Linus: "...when I write a comment in defense of traditional marriage and traditional families with any reference to my religious beliefs, the DesNews censor refuses to include them."

    While I have had my share of comments disappear into the moderation void, believe me, there is no bias against religious expression here. Anyone who has followed the comment threads on these boards following the SCOTUS decisions knows that the "traditional" view has been well represented. The great majority of their arguments have relied on scriptural references.

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    July 2, 2013 11:13 p.m.

    Is everyone who comments in favor of same-sex marriage and enemies of DOMA? Or is Deseret News censoring those who oppose same-sex marriage? I'm have some trouble believing that such a high percentage of DesNews readers espouse the liberal views reflected in these comments. I know that when I write a comment in defense of traditional marriage and traditional families with any reference to my religious beliefs, the DesNews censor refuses to include them. Is the DesNews censor biased?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 2, 2013 2:57 p.m.

    1. Most children living with gay couples are their OWN [usually from a former heterosexual marriages].

    2. Since when to those who scoff at countless Scientific studies regarding Global Climate Change, suddenly do a complete about face and quote "Scientific Studies" to make their case?

    3. You lost all creditability with me at: "I was there as a lobbyist..."

  • Laozi Stanford, CA
    July 2, 2013 11:34 a.m.

    One of the most important things for a child is to be wanted. A lot of heterosexual couples, and singles, have children not because they desired them but because at the critical moment they failed to act like adults. The consequence is boys and girls who grow up with parents who are not happy to be saddled with the burdens of child-rearing.

    This rarely happens with gay people. Since their orientation precludes pregnancy as the result of stupidity, they have to go out of their way to become parents. They have to file papers, pay fees, and wait in line to adopt. There is plenty of time for reflection and for changing one's mind. That ensures that they actually want the children they get rather than having alcohol, immaturity, or a lack of self-control determine what happens.

    That fact--that the children are generally wanted--is one of the reasons that the most credible studies show that kids reared in homosexual families are at least as successful as those with heterosexual parentage. Perhaps advocates of child welfare would do better to focus on ways to make straight people stop and think before impregnating each other.

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    July 2, 2013 9:36 a.m.


    How would DOMA ensure or even promote the family arrangements you prefer, and how is it that children raised in same-sex households are better off if their parents remain unmarried?

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    July 2, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    First we endure, then pity, then embrace!

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    July 2, 2013 8:07 a.m.

    Related to DOMA, even the "expert witness" for SUPPORTERS of Prop 8 admitted that same-sex marriage would HELP children.

    From David Blankenhorn's wiki page:

    "Blankenhorn was presented to the court as an expert witness...by the proponents of California Proposition 8 (2008)....During questioning, Blankenhorn stated "I believe that adopting same-sex marriage would be likely to improve the well-being of gay and lesbian households and their children." Also, he identified 22 other benefits of adopting same-sex marriage... it would: increase the proportion of gays and lesbians in stable, committed relationships; lead to higher living standards for same-sex couples; lead to fewer children growing up in state institutions and more growing up in loving adoptive and foster families; decrease the amount of anti-gay prejudice and hate crimes; and decrease the number of those warily viewed as "other" in society, further reaching the American ideal."

    He also says in a NYT article: "And to my deep regret, much of the opposition to gay marriage seems to stem, at least in part, from an underlying anti-gay animus. "

    If you truly care about children, you should SUPPORT gay marriage.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    July 2, 2013 7:25 a.m.

    WOW, what a stunningly disingenuous propaganda piece.

    From the Senate and House Reports on DOMA:

    Chairman Hyde explained that "most people do not approve of homosexual conduct...and they express their disapprobation through the law." 142 Cong. Rec. H7501 (July 12, 1996).

    Lead Senate sponsor Don Nickles stated that "we find ourselves at the point today that this legislation is needed" because of the "erosion of values." 142 Cong. Rec. S4870 (May 8, 1996).


    "For many Americans, there is to this issue of marriage an overtly moral or religious aspect that cannot be divorced from the practicalities....Civil laws that permit only heterosexual marriage reflect and honor a collective moral judgment about human sexuality. This judgment entails both moral disapproval of homosexuality, (and) moral conviction that heterosexuality better comports with traditional (especially Judeo-Christian) morality....''

    It's extremely clear from Congress' own reports that the TRUE motivation behind DOMA was to express disapproval of homosexuality through the law.

    All this blather about "helping children" is as obvious a ploy as putting a dress on a pig.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    July 1, 2013 11:16 p.m.

    I was in Canada on vacation last month. The same Canada that legalized same-sex marriage in 1999.

    I didn't see moral the moral decay, the degradation of the family, the destruction of heterosexual marriage that the Deseret News and the forum posters continually claim. I saw families at Costco that looked like the families here. I saw children behaving and misbehaving the same as they do here. I saw clean, beautiful houses and apartments full of families. I saw men and women on their way to work on the street of Vancouver seemingly happy and safe.

    If that's what DOMA was to protect us from, then I say good riddance to DOMA.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    July 1, 2013 7:57 p.m.

    Protecting children includes protecting them from the ugly judgmentalism, demonization and ostracization coming from people who believe that being gay is a choice, that gay parents cannot be good parents, that being gay means it is ok for florists, bakers etc to refuse you service, that being gay means you should never have a legally recognized marital relationship with the person that you love.

    People who discover they are gay deserve the right to their own search for happiness through life and what that means for them.
    For those who believe in God--He will be the Judge of our journeys, applying His full measure of knowledge and understanding.

    For us, the command was to "Love one another, love your neighbor as yourself."

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 1, 2013 7:57 p.m.

    "The New Family Structures Study clearly reveals that children appear most apt to succeed well as adults — on multiple counts and across a variety of domains — when they spend their entire childhood with their married mother and father and especially when the parents remain married to the present day."

    And yet Utah lets single people adopt. Funny that, apparently having two parents is only a priority when you need an excuse to ban same-sex marriage. Speaking of which, this editorial argues that marriage helps kids... so how in the world is banning same-sex marriage going to help them? Doesn't make any sense. If this editorial advocated banning same-sex adoption I'd disagree with it but at least it'd be an actual position that fit the argument.

  • Rynn Las Vegas, NV
    July 1, 2013 5:14 p.m.

    All of these articles not only have a problem with same sex marriage, they also have a problem with any family arrangement that is not the biological mother and father being married. Every marriage is different, therefore every divorce is different. Should a woman whose husband beats her everyday stay with him for the sake of the kids? Should a man whose wife has one affair after another stay with her for the sake of the kids?
    So it really depends on the situation. I know of children who's parents have divorced/remarried and they are well adjusted and excelling in school. I also know of children who's parents remain married yet they have behavioral issues. Point being that you cannot paint every marriage and/or divorce with the same brush.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 1, 2013 4:52 p.m.

    @ Kei: The Regnerus study had nothing to do with same-sex parenting - since only a couple of the children in the study were actually raised by same-sex parents.

    A more accurate description of the study would be that it defines the risks of divorce and single-parenting - which we already knew long before this study was done.

  • DanO Mission Viejo, CA
    July 1, 2013 2:37 p.m.

    I suppose that we should get used to the fact the paper that reports on every movement of twice-failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney, will not let go of DOMA either.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    July 1, 2013 1:46 p.m.


    "There were a large number of pro-gay lobbyists and delegates from Western countries..."

    While I've got a pretty good idea what "pro-equality" lobbyist might refer to, I have a really hard time imagining that there is such a thing as a genuine "pro-gay" lobbyist, other than in the fevered imagination of someone who thinks that same-sex couples are icky.

    "that promoted public policy favoring the homosexual lifestyle..."

    You've just given yourself away. What exactly is this "lifestyle" that you think is at issue here?

    No one, and I mean _no one_, is advocating for a "lifestyle" other than simple, uniform application of constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties, including the right to consensual marriage.

    This editorial is merely a desperate, fading scream from those who don't know the difference between their own personal religious beliefs and a representative government operating under a fair and rational system of laws.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 1, 2013 1:33 p.m.

    Hyping whatever same sex marriage bogeyman is not surprising here. But it seems kind of desperate.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    July 1, 2013 1:12 p.m.

    The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families is the world’s largest attempt to study how children raised by same-sex couples compare to children raised by heterosexual couples. According to a preliminary report on the study of 500 children across the country of Australia, these young people are not only thriving, but also have higher rates of family cohesion than other families:

    An interim report found there was no statistical difference between children of same-sex couples and the rest of the population on indicators including self-esteem, emotional behaviour and the amount of time spent with parents.

    However, children of same-sex couples scored higher than the national average for overall health and family cohesion, measuring how well a family gets along.

  • Laozi Stanford, CA
    July 1, 2013 12:38 p.m.


    Even the author of that study warns that there are limitations that prevent his work from being relevant to the DOMA debate. Perhaps that is why he was never called to testify on behalf of that law.

    What was the court to do? The Fourteenth Amendment was written to prevent states from abusing groups of people simply because of their genetic characteristics. The particular issue was the color of people's skin but the country wisely generalized the principle in case misguided states (or the federal government) tried to harm other genetically distinct categories. So how could the supreme court let DOMA stand now that everyone, including the church, recognizes that sexual orientation is based in DNA? Like the racial cases, today's majority decision will ultimately be viewed as legally exemplary.

    But this notion that children are hurt by gay marriage is absurd. Thousands of children are already in families with two mothers or two fathers. All DOMA and Prop 8 did was to deny those kids the affirmation and respect that society gives other boys and girls. Those children played no role in determining their family structures. Why make them start life under the cloud of illegitimacy?

  • Kei ,
    July 1, 2013 12:11 p.m.

    Students of social science learn that every study has its strengths and weaknesses. The purpose of social science is to offer new findings that suggest directions for further research. Mark Regnerus’ New Family Structures Study does both. Its strengths included using larger, more random samples than previous studies, and utilizing reports directly from the young adult children of same-sex relationships, instead of just relying on parental reports. Regnerus’ findings--directly from the children themselves--raised some valid concerns, and suggested further research before our country embraces same-sex parenting as a good thing for society.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    July 1, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    Prop 8 proponents had the opportunity to provide evidence of harm. In court, same-sex marriage opponents needed solid evidence. They never produced it.

    The badly flawed New Family Structures Study of 15,000 adults between the ages of 18-39 turned on this question:

    S7. From when you were born until age 18 (or until you left home to be on your own), did either of your parents ever have a romantic relationship with someone of the same sex?
    Yes, my mother had a romantic relationship with another woman
    Yes, my father had a romantic relationship with another man

  • PolishBear Charleston, WV
    July 1, 2013 12:00 p.m.

    No, DOMA was not designed to "protect" chidren. Couples do not need to marry to have children, the ability or even desire to have children is not a prerequisite for obtaining and marriage license, and Gay couples will continue to raise adopted children to healthy, happy, well-adjusted adulthood regardless of their marital status.

  • merich39 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 1, 2013 11:53 a.m.

    I'm straight and have 3 almost grown children. All 3 of my children are also straight. My kids are not now nor will they be harmed by the SCOTUS decision on DOMA. My kids will likely marry in the next 10 yrs or so and eventually have children of their own. My grandchildren will not be harmed in any way by the DOMA decision. To the contrary, my grandchildren will grow up in a country that more strongly adhers to its most basic founding principal that all men are created equal. I am happier today knowing that if one of my grandchildren happens to be born homosexual, they'll have better opportunities for a happier life in a country that should have provided those opportunities a long time ago.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    July 1, 2013 11:50 a.m.

    if its purpose was really to protect children then it was ill conceived and should have never been passed int he first place since the research clearly shows that children raised in two parent same sex homes fair as well as children raised in two parent heterosexual homes. this has been proven out time and again through he research and vetted out through the court of law.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 1, 2013 11:38 a.m.

    The author of the New Family Structures Study admitted at the time the study was published that it should not be used in determining whether or not same-sex marriage should be legal. He stated that this was due to the many shortcomings of the study, including that the participants in the study came from broken homes and had many other factors that influenced the outcome other than any memories the participants may have had regarding the sexual relationships their parents may or may not have had.

    Since the study was published, there have been a great many questions raised about its validity and methodology - and again, the author of the study has admitted there were flaws with it and for this reason it should not be relied upon as a reason to prohibit same-sex marriage.

    As a final point, recognizing same-sex marriage provides protection for the children being raised in same-sex headed households. The existence of DOMA did not prevent these families from being formed and the removal of one part of DOMA is not going to in and of itself create more of these families than would otherwise exist.