1997 U. Ill. L. Rev. 833 (1997)
The Potential Impact of Homosexual Parenting on Children

handle is hein.journals/unilllr1997 and id is 847 raw text is: THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF
Lynn D. Wardle*
The legalization of gay marriage has been a contentious issue
since the Hawaii Supreme Court struck down a Hawaii law
prohibiting such marriages. Many commentators have addressed
the related, and similarly divisive, issue of same-sex parenting. In
this article, Professor Lynn D. Wardle argues that the legal aca-
demic and social science communities have come to the defense of
gay marriage and parenting too hastily, without considering the ef-
fects of both on children. In particular, Professor Wardle asserts
that law review articles supporting homosexual parenting have re-
lied on methodologically flawed and inadequate social science
studies comparing the effects of same-sex and opposite-sex child-
rearing. The author suggests that these studies have ignored signif-
icant potential effects of gay childrearing on children, including
increased development of homosexual orientation in children,
emotional and cognitive disadvantages caused by the absence of
opposite-sex parents, and economic security.
The author also examines judicial responses to homosexual
parenting in adoption, custody, and visitation cases. He contends
that judicial reaction has run the gamut from outright disapproval
to open acceptance of gay parenting. But he notes that more recent
case law reflects an approach which treats same-sex and opposite-
sex childrearing as equivalent. To underscore the connection be-
tween gay marriage and parenting, Professor Wardle discusses and
critiques the landmark Hawaii decision overturning a law restrict-
ing marriage to heterosexual couples. In particular, he argues that
the Hawaii attorney general failed to argue forcefully that the state
has a compelling interest in protecting children from the effects of
gay marriage, and that the trial judge trivialized the state's expert
testimony on that issue. The author concludes that same-sex mar-
* Professor of Law, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University. B.A. 1971,
Brigham Young University; J.D. 1974, Duke University. An earlier version of this article was
presented as a paper at the International Society of Family Law's North America Regional Confer-
ence on Parent and Child in North American Family Law, in Quebec City, Quebec, June 13-15,
1996. 1 am indebted to Eric Andersen, A. Dean Byrd, David Coolidge, Sanford Katz, Terry Ko-
gan, Jane Marquardt, Camille Williams, Richard Williams, and others who have reacted to my
paper, presentation, parts of this article, or ideas that went into writing it, and to William Duncan,
Troy Smith, Mike Connell, and Joy Pearson who provided valuable research assistance.

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