Ruth Speaks Out

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In the dictionary, under "Question-begging,"...

Posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009

you could find this statement by a Judge in Montana:  “Lesbians and gay Montanans must not be forced to fight to marry, to raise their children, and to live with the same dignity that is accorded heterosexuals." It is begging the question for the judge to say, "to raise their children," because the question before the court was precisely, "Is this person the child's mother? Is this child "hers" in any meaningful sense?"  This same judge goes on to lecture the entire state of Montana:

"That lesbian and gay people still must fight for their fundamental rights is antithetical to the core values of Article II and speaks, in unfortunate clarity, of a prevalent societal cancer grounded in bigotry and hate.”  Again, question-begging: the question is precisely whether a person unrelated to a child by either biology or adoption has any "fundamental right" to visitation, custody or other parental rights. 

I don't know whether this judge is wrong as a matter of law. But it is certain that the judge is wrong as a matter of logic, not to mention common decency. You can read about this case in the Marriage Law Digest, published by iMAPP (look for the link on the right-hand sidebar) and written by the Ruth Institute's own Bill Duncan. This service of iMAPP is worth subscribing to, if you want the latest in marriage law developments.
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