Regarding the March 28 Washington Post article published in The Japan Times under the headline “Effects of same-sex parenting debated”: When logically evaluating an argument, it is good practice to first eliminate irrelevant assertions.
In this spirit, the entire article is unnecessary because it is based on the faulty assertion that parental effectiveness is relevant to the legality of same-sex marriage.
People marry for a variety of reasons, not all of which are child-related. Early opponents of same-sex marriage argued that the biologically impossibility of such a couple naturally producing offspring was sufficient to make same-sex marriage illegal. They were defeated because their argument was irrelevant, as it is legal for infertile and elderly people to marry.
Likewise, even if evidence surfaces that proves children raised in same-sex families are less successful in life than children raised in opposite-sex families, that would not constitute sufficient evidence to ban same-sex marriage. Even evidence of more widespread neglect or abuse in same-sex families would not be sufficient.
According to current data, unwed mothers who do not finish high school are demonstrably less effective parents than are married mothers who do finish high school.
For a child, any kind of marriage is better than no marriage, but in a free society, people are allowed to be ineffective parents.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, children in lower income families are at increased risk of abuse and neglect, but that is not taken as sufficient cause to ban marriage among low-income people.
A comprehensive long-term study of the success of children raised in same-sex families would be interesting, but irrelevant in the debate around the legality of same-sex marriage.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.