As a pediatrician, I am really happy about the Supreme Court's decision that same-sex couples have the right to marry -- because it's a decision that is good for children.
It's good for children for a simple reason: marriage is good for children.
As a Catholic, I was very upset to hear that some Catholic leaders were telling Catholics not to attend same-sex marriages. I was even more upset to hear Andrew Beckwith, the head of the Massachusetts Family Institute, say that "the court has elevated the sexual preferences of adults over the needs of children." Nothing could be further from the truth.
We've studied this. It turns out that children raised by same-sex parents are just fine. They don't have more emotional,social or any other kind of problems than children raised in heterosexual couples. Despite what lots of people like to say, there's no evidence that it makes any difference.
What does make a difference, though, is having married parents. Marriage brings stability to relationships. It brings extended families together. It gives both parents legal rights, including the right to make medical decisions, something that is crucial. Married couples tend to be healthier, happier, and to have more financial and social resources. That's why the American Academy of Pediatrics (an organization that is generally pretty conservative) published a policy statement a couple of years ago in support of same-sex marriage.
Kids don't need their parents to be of different genders. They need their parents (or guardians or whoever is caring for them) to have a good relationship with them and with each other. They need their family to have enough money for things like housing, food, and other necessities. They need their family to have the friendship and support of people around them. Marriage helps with all those things. Marriage is good for kids.
Marriage isn't just about procreation. If it were, infertile couples or couples choosing not to have children would have invalid marriages. Marriage is about family. It's about love -- and the profound, enduring promises and responsibilities of love. That's what strengthens families -- and raises happy, healthy, successful children.
That's why I am so happy about this decision. #LoveWins.