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Jennifer Roback Morse’s presumption of paternity means that children

born to a married woman are presumed to be
testimony to the Rhode Island the children of her husband. With this legal
legislature regarding Same Sex rule, and the social practice of sexual
Marriage exclusivity, marriage attaches children to
their biological parents.
Delivered February 9, 2011
Same sex couples of course, do not
I am here today to address those of you who procreate together. “Marriage equality”
have already made up your minds to requires a slippery move from “presumption
redefine marriage. History will not be kind of paternity” to the gender neutral
to you. Previous generations of social “presumption of parentage.” This sleight of
experimenters have caused unimaginable hand transforms parenthood. The same sex
misery for millions of people. Particular partner of a biological parent is never the
people advocated the policies that led to other biological parent. Rather than
today’s 50% divorce rate and 40% out of attaching children to their biological parents,
wedlock childbearing rate. None of these same sex marriage is the vehicle that
people has ever been held accountable. separates children from a parent.

I am here today to hold you to account, for No longer will the law hold that children
the predictable harms you will cause by need a mother and a father. Under the
redefining marriage. inspiration and guidance of people like you
in other states, courts are saying silly things
Let me remind you of the essential public like, “the traditional notion that children
purpose of marriage. Marriage attaches need a mother and a father to be raised into
mothers and fathers to their children, and to healthy, well-adjusted adults is based more
one another. Once you replace that essential on stereotype than anything else.”1
public purpose with inessential, even
frivolous private purposes, marriage will not This statement made by the Iowa Supreme
be able to do its job. But children will still Court in Varnum v Brien, is false as a
need secure attachments to their mothers and general statement. Mountains of data show
fathers, a need which will go unfulfilled. that children do need their mothers and their
fathers,2 and that children care deeply about
You are redefining parenthood, as a side biological connections.3 The gay
effect of redefining marriage, without even community is not responsible for today’s
considering what you are about to do. Until generation of fatherless children. But they
now, marriage makes legal parenthood track will be responsible for the next such
biological parenthood. The legal generation.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse • 663 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road Suite 222 San Marcos CA 92078 • email: • 760/295-9278
©2007 No part of this document may be reproduced or disseminated in any way without the expressed written consent of the
Ruth Institute.
And don’t tell me that we already have lots the power of the state to make irrelevant
of children unattached to their parents. We distinctions among citizens. In your hands,
should be taking steps to place responsible equality has become a battering ram for
limits on things like divorce, rather than smashing every aspect of social life that has
careening headlong into further and more any hint of sexual differentiation. No more
institutionalized injustices to children. mothers and fathers, only Parent 1 and
Parent 2.
Are you really prepared to accept
responsibility for the consequences of Far from limiting the power of the state,
detaching legal parenthood from the natural your version of equality has become a tool
moorings of biology? Do you really want a for the hostile takeover of civil society by
world in which children may have three or the state. Churches are already under attack
four legal parents?4 Are you ready for for daring to dissent from the new state-
contract parenting, in which adults parcel imposed Orthodoxy that marriage is
out parental responsibilities amongst whatever the government says it is.7
themselves? That is the world you are
bringing into being. 5 Parents are losing the right to direct the
education of their own children.8 Foster
The next generation of children of divorce parents in the UK must submit to the state’s
may be shuttling between 3 or 4 households, views about marriage.9 Reputable adoption
with their backpacks and their sleeping bags. agencies have been put out of business.
Whether you’re ready or not, I hold you
accountable. And the pettiness of some of the complaints
brought by same sex couples is simply
And don’t try to tell me “nothing so terrible staggering. Christian bed and breakfast
has happened in Massachusetts.” Redefining owners have been sued for not allowing
marriage redefines the way in which unmarried couples to stay in double rooms.
generations relate to one another. It is They would have gladly rented them
ludicrous to believe that we would feel the separate rooms, but that was not good
full impact of such a change in a few years. enough for the thought police.10 Same sex
It will take at least a generation, a full thirty couples have brought legal complaints
years or more, before the full effects of against wedding photographers, as if there
redefining marriage work themselves out were a constitutional right to have your
throughout the social system.6 picture taken by the person of your
choice.11 All in the name of “civil rights.”
The only argument you have is so-called
“equality.” You have taken a venerable Let me remind you that a vast majority of
American concept and twisted it out of African Americans completely reject same
recognition. Equality used to mean limiting sex marriage. They are deeply offended by
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse • 663 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road Suite 222 San Marcos CA 92078 • email: • 760/295-9278
©2007 No part of this document may be reproduced or disseminated in any way without the expressed written consent of the
Ruth Institute.
the high-jacking of the moral authority of Donation,” (NY: Institute for American
their civil rights movement. Values, 2010).

When slavery was abolished, all slaves 4 “Pennsylvania Court finds three Adults
became free men and women. When women Can Have Parental Rights,”
obtained the right to vote, the discrimination
ended with the very next election. But for rdlink/2007/05/pennsylvania_co.html
children of same sex marriage, the situation (quoting Superior Court case, Jacob v
will be different. When we come to our Shultz-Jacob, 2007 Westlaw 1240885 , 2007
senses 30 years from now and realize that PA Super 118), “Canadian court rules boy
we have perpetrated a grotesque injustice, has a dad and two moms,”
not a single child born fatherless or
motherless within a same sex marriage will par.htm
get his missing parent back. Only prevention
will protect children’s rights. 5 “Why just Two? Disaggregating
Traditional Parental Rights and
The thin disguise of marriage equality will Responsibilities to Recognize Multiple
not mislead anyone, nor will it atone for the Parents,” Melanie Jacobs, Michigan State
wrong this day done.12 University College of Law, Legal Studies
Research Paper Series, No. 05-04; “Johnny
And to those of you who plan to vote for has two mommies—and four dads,” Boston
man/woman marriage, I say: stay strong! Globe, October 24, 2010,
History is on your side.
1 Varnum v Brien Supreme Court of Iowa, s__and_four_dads/
No. 07–1499, Filed April 3, 2009, pg 54,
footnote 26 6 Quoting divorce statistics in
Massachusetts is frankly ridiculous, since
2 Among the many citations that could be the divorce rate rose by 4.5% in MA
given, “Why Marriage Matters: 26 between 2004 and 2007, while the divorce
Conclusions from the Social Sciences,” rate across the whole of the US fell by 2.7%.
(NY: Institute for American Values, 2005),
summarizes some of the most important %20Rates%2090%2095%20and%2099-
research. 07.pdf (Divorce Rate by State, 1990- 2007,
Division of Vital Statistics, National Center
3 See Elizabeth Marquardt, Norvell Glenn for Health Statistics, CDC. Page last
and Karen Clark, “My Daddy’s Name is updated, November 19, 2010), and
Donor: A Pathbreaking Study of Young
Adults Conceived through Sperm orce_tables.htm National Marriage and
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse • 663 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road Suite 222 San Marcos CA 92078 • email: • 760/295-9278
©2007 No part of this document may be reproduced or disseminated in any way without the expressed written consent of the
Ruth Institute.
Divorce Trends, National Vital Statistics and Charlotte Yallop,
System. Provisional number of divorces and
annulments and rates, United States, 2000- ugust/Christians-Denied-Foster-Kids-Over-
2007, page last updated, November 19, Moral-Stance/
10 A UK couple who runs a bed and
7 For a general discussion of the likely breakfast out of their own home is being
impact of same sex marriage on a variety of sued by a same sex couple because they
church-related activities, see Douglas were denied a double room.
Laycock, Anthony R. Picarello, Jr. and
Robin Fretwell Wilson, Same-Sex Marriage _by_homosexual_couple
and Religious Liberty: Emerging Conflicts,
(Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield 11 The New Mexico Human Rights
Publishers, 2008). Commission fined a Christian wedding
photographer because she declined to take
8 See in Massachusetts for instance, Parker photos of a lesbian commitment ceremony.
v. Hurley, 514 F.3d 87, 92-93 (1st Cir.
2008), cert. denied, 2008 WL 1926813 (Oct. otography.pdf
6, 2008), and in California, SB 777 requires
“non-discrimination” in instruction, for 12 Slight paraphrase of Justice Harlan’s
private as well as public schools. Senate dissent in Plessey v. Ferguson, 163 U.S.
Floor Analysis of S.B. 777, Senate Rules 537,562
Committee, Office of Senate Floor Analysis
2 (Sept. 19, 2007) (internal quotations Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D. is an
omitted), available at economist and the Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, a nonprofit educational
08/bill/sen/sb_0751- organization devoted to bringing hope and
0800/sb_777_cfa_20070919_103650_sen_fl encouragement for lifelong married love.
oor.html. See S.B. 777, 2007-2008 Reg. She is also the author of Love and
Sess. (Cal. 2007), available at Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise a Village and Smart Sex: Finding Life-Long
08/bill/sen/sb_0751- Love in a Hook-Up World.

9 In the UK, see the recent cases of Owen

and Eunice Johns,
Bishops-speak-homosexuality.html and John
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse • 663 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road Suite 222 San Marcos CA 92078 • email: • 760/295-9278
©2007 No part of this document may be reproduced or disseminated in any way without the expressed written consent of the
Ruth Institute.