The core argument of the amicus brief is that there is no legitimate, fact-based reason for providing different legal treatment of committed relationships between same-sex couples. Without the presence of such a rationale, precedent should result in the U.S. Supreme Court overturning California’s ban on gay marriage.
The amicus brief argues that the oft-cited claims that civil marriage between same-sex couples will somehow hurt traditional marriage and be detrimental to children have been rejected by social science. Rather, we now know that children who grow up in intact, married families are much more likely to do well in school, achieve professional success and enjoy the benefits of stable, adult family lives.
In contrast, children who live with unmarried, cohabitating partners encounter significant challenges in their lives due to the higher separation rates of their parents and lower household incomes. Laws like California’s Proposition 8 do not fortify traditional marriage, they merely prevent hundreds of thousands of children of same-sex couples from enjoying the benefits that accrue from marriage.
Like several others who have either sought or held public office, including President Obama, I have changed my mind on this issue. Same-sex couples and their children should have equal access to the benefits of marriage.
My decision to support civil marriage is solely my own. I hope that the Supreme Court will heed the arguments in the amicus brief. Establishing a constitutional right of marriage equality in California will strengthen our nation as a whole.