Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy on
Wednesday coaxed Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery to admit the
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) hurts children.
In his testimony at the first-ever
Senate hearing on repeal of the law that bans federal agencies from
recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples, Minnery,
the head of the group's political arm, CitizenLink, stated that
children fare better in a household headed by a married father and
Leahy, who chairs the Senate Judiciary
Committee considering the repeal measure, pointedly asked Minnery
whether he believes DOMA disadvantages the children of gay couples.
“Are they not disadvantaged by not
having the same financial benefits that an opposite sex family would
have?” Leahy asked.
“Well, as I say, not knowing the
details of which families you are speaking of, certainly children are
better off with parents in the home,” Minnery responded.
“Yes or no,” Leahy insisted, “it's
not a trick question. If you have parents legally married under the
laws of the state – one set of parents are entitled to certain
financial benefits for their children, the other set of parents are
denied those same financial benefits for their children … are not
those children of the second family, are they not at a disadvantage,
yes or no?”
“That would be yes, as you asked the
question earlier senator,” Minnery responded. (The video is
embedded in the right panel of this page.)
Al Franken disputes Tom Minnery's claims against gay families.)