Attorney: ‘Same-Sex Couples Have a Perfect Right to Reproduce’

By Penny Starr | April 24, 2015 | 6:45pm EDT


Paul Smith, attorney and partner at Jenner & Block, spoke at an event to discuss the upcoming same-sex marriage case before the U.S. Supreme Court on April 24, 2015. ( Starr)

( – The attorney who argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003 in favor of striking down the sodomy law in the state of Texas said on Friday that homosexuals have “a perfect right to reproduce.”

“Same-sex couples have a perfect right to reproduce - whether they’re married or not - and are, in fact, doing that,” Paul Smith, attorney and partner at Jenner & Block, said at an American Constitution Society (ACS) event to discuss the high court’s hearing oral arguments on Tuesday on same-sex marriage in the Obergefell v. Hodges case.

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According to the Supreme Court’s preview of the case, the justices will be considering two questions in the case: Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex, and does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state?

At the ACS event, the issue of whether or not homosexuals should be parents was discussed, including remarks by Smith.

“The other piece of this – going back to the children, the child welfare stuff that gets discussed  -- is the notion that children are better off with a mom and a dad, which a lot of people in this country still believe – it doesn’t happen to be supported by the social science evidence,” Smith said, citing an amici brief his firm crafted for the case with the American Psychological Association.

“The more fundamental problem with that argument is that the kids are there anyway,” Smith said. “Same-sex couples have a perfect right to reproduce whether they’re married or not and are in fact doing that.

“And so even you thought they’re not ideal parents – and there’s no evidence of that – but even if you thought that, if you as a state believe that married parents are better than unmarried parents you still don’t haven’t an argument for why you shouldn’t let them get married,” he said.

“It just doesn’t make any sense,” Smith said.

Earlier this week, the Christian, pro-family Family Research Council held its own preview of the upcoming oral arguments. At that event, FRC’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute distributed two contrasting amici briefs in the case: One from the American Sociological Association that claims there are no differences between children raised by same-sex parents and those raised by opposite sex couples.

But the American College of Pediatricians, et al. showed very different results in its amici brief, including the following findings:

• Children raised by same-sex parents are 35 percent less likely to graduate from high school.

• Children raised by same-sex parents are twice as likely to have psychological disorders and learning disabilities.

• Children of lesbian parents are 10 times more likely to have been sexually touched by a parent or other adult and are four times more likely to be forced to have sex against their will.

• Children with same-sex parents are much more likely to have serious emotional or mental problems.

• As adults, individuals with lesbian parents are more likely to smoke and use marijuana.

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