The Don't-Miss Moments From the DOMA Hearing
BY Advocate.com Editors
July 21 2011 1:50 PM ET
Tom Minnery, senior vice president, Focus on the Family:
"The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services explains in its new and exhaustive report, ‘Family Structure and Children’s Health in the United States: Findings From the National Health Interview Survey, 2001-2007,’ that children living with their own married biological or adoptive mothers and fathers were generally healthier and happier, had better access to health care, less likely to suffer mild or severe emotional problems, did better in school, were protected from physical, emotional and sexual abuse and almost never live in poverty, compared with children in any other family form."
Note: Minnery’s assertions, allegedly based on the HHS study, were challenged by Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota. The exchange in the hearing:
FRANKEN: “Isn’t it true, Mr. Minnery, that a married, same-sex couple that has had or adopted kids would fall under the definition of a ‘nuclear family’ in the study that you cite?”
MINNERY: “I would think that the study, when it cites a nuclear families, would mean a family headed by a husband and wife.”
FRANKEN: “It doesn’t. The study defines a nuclear family as one or more children living with two parents who are married to one another, and are each biological or adoptive parents to all the children in the family. And I frankly don’t really know how we can trust the rest of your testimony if you’re reading studies these ways.”
Edward Whelan, president, Ethics and Public Policy Center:
“The principles invoked by advocates of same-sex marriage in their ongoing attack on traditional marriage clearly threaten to pave the way for polygamous and other polyamorous unions, especially via the judicial invention of a state constitutional right to polyamory. If the male-female nature of traditional marriage can be dismissed as an artifact and its inherent link to procreation denied, then surely the distinction between a marriage of two persons and a marriage of three or more is all the more arbitrary and irrational."