Busted: Opponents of Referendum 74 Lay Out Old, Discredited Claims in Denying the Freedom to Marry in First Television Ad

 Washington United for Marriage (WUM), the broad coalition working to approve Referendum 74 and defend the state’s marriage law, today slammed Preserve Marriage Washington for its television ad that lays out old, false and misleading claims about the freedom to marry.

 “They are busted,” said WUM campaign manager Zach Silk. “There is nothing new here, nothing that they haven’t dredged up before, and nothing that’s held up to to the light of day. This is about one thing only — misleading and scaring voters.  We believe people have wised up to these lies and understand that extending marriage to all loving couples is about fundamental fairness.  Simply put, our law hurts no one, and better protects all loving couples and their families. “

 Additionally, many of the most respected advocates of families and children have concluded that children fare just as well in homes headed by gay or lesbian parents and that by allowing those parents to marry, children are better protected.  For example:

 — The American Psychological Association wrote: “Overall, results of research suggest that the development, adjustment, and well-being of children with lesbian and gay parents do not differ markedly from that of children with heterosexual parents.”

 — The American Academy of Pediatrics “recognizes that a considerable body of professional literature provides evidence that children with parents who are homosexual can have the same advantages and the same expectations for health, adjustment, and development as can children whose parents are heterosexual.” 

 — The National Association of Social Workers said “Legislation legitimizing second-parent adoptions in same-sex households should be supported. Legislation seeking to restrict foster care and adoption by gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people should be vigorously opposed.”

 — These researchers and organizations join several other professional organizations that have drawn the same conclusions. 

 “It’s ironic to us that our opponents, who claim to oppose the freedom to marry on behalf of children and families, would actually seek to treat one set of children differently from another,” added Silk.  “If they really cared about doing all that we can as a society to help kids succeed and thrive, then they should embrace marriage for those parents so that all families are treated equally and fairly.”

See the ad here:  http://youtu.be/QRXhj5DnzS4

 Among the “busted” claims in the ad are these:

CLAIM: “Gays and Lesbians already have the same legal rights as married couples.”

 FACTS: While domestic partnerships are legal in Washington, states that have passed such laws have found them to be fundamentally unequal and harmful. [See herehere, and here.] As the Supreme Court of Connecticut wrote in 2008 when it struck down a statute that prohibited same-sex marriage, civil unions and marriage “are by no means ‘equal.’”  The court explained in its opinion: “Despite the truly laudable effort of the legislature in equalizing the legal rights afforded same sex and opposite sex couples, there is no doubt that civil unions enjoy a lesser status in our society than marriage.”

CLAIM: Marriage “was created for the care and well-being of the next generation.”

FACTS: Many households headed by same-sex couples in the U.S. are raising children. According to the U.S. Census, approximately 20 percent of same-sex couples are raising nearly 250,000 children.  Children being raised by loving, committed same-sex couples – like all children – deserve the protections that come from allowing their parents to marry. 

CLAIM: “When laws like 74 have occurred elsewhere, people who disagree have faced lawsuits, fines, and punishment.”

FACTS: Seattle Times national investigation “failed to turn up any evidence that same-sex marriage had produced a rash of suits involving businesspeople.”  The newspaper “also checked with human rights commissions in four of the six states where marriage is legal; the commissions said there was not an increase in discrimination findings or suits involving same sex marriage.”