Children Speak for Same-Sex Marriage

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January 21, 2010


"The debate over same-sex parenting was central in Iowa, where the State Supreme Court ruled last April that a state law limiting marriage to a man and a woman was unconstitutional, in a suit filed by same-sex couples against the Polk County recorder. 'The defendant made children the center of its argument,' said Camilla Taylor, the lead lawyer for Lambda Legal, which argued the case. 'There are many reasons why the purpose of the marriage ban has nothing to do with child welfare,' Ms. Taylor said. 'But since the defendant was claiming that the purpose of marriage law was to protect the children of heterosexual parents, we wanted the defendant to have to answer why the children of same-sex parents are any less deserving of protection and support.'

"Lambda Legal approached each of the plaintiffs with children and asked the families if the children themselves would sign on as co-plaintiffs. The move appears to have shifted both public and court opinion. 'What I did, it wasn't just for my family, it was for a ton of families,' said McKinley BarbouRoske, now 12, who, along with her sister, Breeanna, was a co-plaintiff in the suit filed by her mothers, Jen and Dawn BarbouRoske."