Thursday, July 06, 2006

New York high court declares the children of lesbians & gays to be 2nd-class citizens

By Diane Silver

The New York Court of Appeals -- the state's highest court -- declared today in a 4-2 decision that marriage discrimination is legal and then noted that any end to discriminatory laws has to come from the state legislature.

The practical result of this ruling is that the families and, thus, the children of lesbian and gay New Yorkers are cast as 2nd-class citizens. They have fewer legal protections and less financial security than the children of heterosexual families.

AP reports:

The Court of Appeals, in a 4-2 decision, said New York's marriage law is constitutional and clearly limits marriage to between a man and a woman.

Any change in the law would have to come from the state Legislature, Judge Robert Smith said.
AP also reports:

"It's a sad day for New York families," said plaintiff Kathy Burke of Schenectady, who is raising an 11-year-old son with her partner, Tonja Alvis. My family deserves the same protections as my next door neighbors."
The end result of this decision is that our children will suffer. See here for what the American Academy of Pediatrics says about the impact on children of bans on same-sex marriage.

This decision -- and justices' deferral to the legislature on an issue of civil rights, of all things -- also make me wonder if the religious right's constant drumbeat about activist judges has scored a victory.

Perhaps, I'm wrong. You can read the opinion and dissents here (see Jason Seymour v. Julie Holcomb et al) and see for yourself. No one except the four justices on the winning side can know whether their courage failed them. Were they too afraid to stand up for fairness under the law?


Rocket Surgeon, Phd said...

That's a horribly slanted view, don't you think?

Your entire take, and your literature to support it, is based entirely on a pre-supposed belief and not on the the true search for facts.

That's not reporting.
It's indoctrination.

Diane Silver said...

Hey there, Rocket Surgeon...

Actually, this is a blog of political OPINION. If you want reporting, check out the AP story I've got linked.

However, my opinion and my experience, not to mention a bit of common sense, is that when you undermine families you hurt their children.

The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees with me, and as far as I know, the Academy doesn't have a single ax to grind. I suspect that pediatricians want what's best for kids, or at least I hope they do.