U.S. Appeals Court Judge Henry F. Floyd–who was nominated to the federal bench by both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama and who was confirmed to the appeals court by a bipartisan 96-0 vote in the U.S. Senate–said in an opinion issued today that it is a “dubious proposition that same-sex couples are less capable parents.”
Floyd made the remark while declaring same-sex marriage a constitutional right and dismissing the argument made in favor of Virginia’s marriage amendment that it safeguards the need of children to be raised by both a mother and a father.
“The proponents aver that ‘children develop best when reared by their married biological parents in a stable family unit,'” wrote Floyd. “They dwell on the importance of ‘gender-differentiated parenting’ and argue that sanctioning same-sex marriage will deprive children of the benefit of being raised by a mother and a father, who have ‘distinct parenting styles.’ In essence, the proponents argue that the Virginia Marriage Laws safeguard children by preventing same-sex couples from marrying and starting inferior families.”
Floyd noted that an amicus brief filed by a group of professional associations rebutted the theory that it is better for children to be raised by both a mother and a father.
“The opponents and their amici cast serious doubt on the accuracy of the proponents’ contentions,” said Floyd. “For example, as the American Psychological Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychiatric Association, National Association of Social Workers, and Virginia Psychological Association (collectively, the APA) explain in their amicus brief, ‘there is no scientific evidence that parenting effectiveness is related to parental sexual orientation,’ and ‘the same factors’—including family stability, economic resources, and the quality of parent-child relationships—’are linked to children’s positive development, whether they are raised by heterosexual, lesbian, or gay parents.”