Gay Marriage and Children Welfare as Controversial Issue

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 3
Words: 581
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: Undergraduate

Many debates have emerged about same-sex marriage. These debates look at whether laws allow others to marry people of a similar sex. Other debates consider same-sex marriage as a form of discrimination against such couples and their sexual orientations.

Joslin looks at the welfare of children relative to gay marriage and its proposed bans (Joslin, 2011). According to Joslin, Courts should focus on claims of child welfare invocations as grounds for forbidding gay marriage. The author notes usages of child welfare as the basis for banning gay marriages are not consistent and change over time. Thus, such invocations cannot provide sound reasons for arguments against same-sex marriages.

The author questions the credibility and persuasiveness of those using child welfare claims against same-sex marriage. Joslin argues that such claims lack persuasive evidence. In this context, Joslin looks at how these theories have evolved over time.

There are also claims that gay couples “make bad parents” (Joslin, 2011). According to this claim, the ideal or optimal place for raising children should consist of a family with parents (a man and a woman), who are biological parents of such children. Conversely, same-sex parents cannot provide an ideal setting for children. This is a source of burden to children. However, this article argues that there is no evidence to support such claims against gay marriage and the welfare of children. Joslin asserts that same-sex couples have the same abilities to raise children just like other straight parents.

The author also argues that same-sex couples usually engage in planned and deliberate processes of having children. Therefore, they provide stable relationships for their children. This is unlike relationships of heterosexual partners in which unplanned pregnancies may occur and result in harm for the children.

Another claim is that gay marriage is a form of “deinstitutionalization” of marriage. Deinstitutionalization is a potential source of harm to children. However, supporters of gay marriage argue that heterosexual marriage is responsible for the deinstitutionalization of marriage. According to the article, the deinstitutionalization of marriage shall spread to children of straight couples through schooling as they learn about gay marriage.

Joslin also notes that issues of children as strategies against same-sex marriage have always been at the forefront. However, a closer look reveals that such positions are subject to change. Such proffered interests have changed based on various child-related ideologies. Consequently, the author suggests that Courts should be “suspicious of the legitimacy of the proffered child-related rationales” (Joslin, 2011).

The author also draws from history and notes that such asserted claims about child-related views have also evolved within the context of litigation. For instance, in Hawaiian litigation, the Court argued that heterosexual parents were ideal for child-rearing and gay couples were sources of harm to their children. However, this view changed in 1996 when the Hawaiian Court rejected the case based on merits.

In conclusion, the author notes that child-related claims against same-sex marriages are unworthy of credence. This is because such claims cannot stand the test of time because they are inconsistent with regard to earlier claims.

Further, the author observes that child welfare claims may be “strategies to conceal an invidious end” (Joslin, 2011). This is because proffered arguments have lost persuasiveness and support over time. At the same time, such proponents of straight-sex marriages also lack empirical data to assert their claims. Thus, the author notes that Courts should rely on “historical and cross-contextual perspectives to question the permissibility of same-sex marriage bans” (Joslin, 2011).


Joslin, C. (2011). Searching for Harm: Same-Sex Marriage and the Well-Being of Children. Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review (CR-CL), 46(81), 81- 101.