On March 26, 2013, during early questioning of the attorneys arguing Hollingsworth v. Perry before thee U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy, in an aside, said: "... On the other hand, there is an immediate legal injury or legal—what could be a legal injury, and that’s the voice of these children. There are some 40,000 children in California, according to the Red Brief, that live with same-sex parents, and they want their parents to have full recognition and full status. The voice of those children is important in this case, don’t you think?"
UPDATE, June 26, 2013: This morning's 5-4 vote, barring the federal government from "...[disparaging] and [injuring] those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity," as written for the majority by Justice Anthony Kennedy, prompted California Attorney General Kamala Harris, at left, to immediately issue the following statement:
"The Court agreed with our argument that opponents of same-sex marriage lacked the legal standing required to bring the issue to the court. Same-sex marriages can legally resume in California as soon as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifts its stay on the District Court Ruling," she said in a statement. "I ask that the Ninth Circuit lift this stay immediately, because gay and lesbian couples in California have waited long enough for their full civil rights."
From Philip Cohen, writing in The Atlantic: "...One of the most important aspects of the decision is what it says about the children of same-sex couples. The defenders of DOMA tried to argue that same-sex marriage is bad for children. But the majority accepted Justice Kennedy's argument (which he raised during oral arguments) that denying marriage hurts the children of these couples. DOMA, wrote Kennedy, "humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples." ...The true consensus among sociologists, as expressed by the American Sociological Association, is that there is no evidence of such harm. The ASA wrote in a brief to the Supreme Court:
When the social science evidence is exhaustively examined--which the ASA has done--the facts demonstrate that children fare just as well when raised by same-sex parents ... Unsubstantiated fears regarding same-sex child rearing do not overcome these facts and do not justify upholding DOMA and Proposition 8.
Writing after the decision in the Huffington Post, Rutgers Univ. professor Carlos Ball, noted:
...DOMA, Kennedy explained, made it "difficult for children to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and their daily lives."
Kennedy also emphasized the financial harm that DOMA caused the children of same-sex marriage. He noted, for example, that DOMA made paying for health care more expensive for families because it required the federal government to tax the health benefits provided by employers to their workers' same-sex spouses. DOMA also denied Social Security benefits to a surviving same-sex spouse to care for the couple's child....
April 8, 2013: Bill Keller, New York Times writer (and former NYT executive editor), has an essay in today's paper, "About the Children," reflecting on the current U.S. Supreme Court deliberations over the consitutionality of gay marriage (Hollingsworth v. Perry) -- specifically referencing Justice Anthony Kennedy's aside on March 26 during the initial arguments.
As Keller notes:
...The stakes for children in this debate fall roughly into two categories. One is legal: A great scaffolding of laws and benefits created to keep children secure and loved is denied to children who grow up with parents of the same gender. Can that be solved without letting same-sex couples marry? The other is social: Researchers have attempted to ascertain whether kids who grow up with two moms or two dads fare differently from kids growing up with one of each. Is there any reason to think same-sex households are bad for children, and if so should policy makers tread carefully?...Defenders of the status quo (including Justice Antonin Scalia) would have you believe that the research on children growing up with gay parents is deeply ambiguous. If you spend time in the recent archives of such periodicals as Pediatrics, Applied Developmental Science, Social Science Research and the Journal of Marriage and Family, you will learn otherwise...
... it is fair to say that the research shows no significant disadvantage associated with being raised by lesbian mothers or gay fathers — not in academic performance, not in psychological health, not in social or sexual development, not in violent behavior or substance abuse. And the research leaves little doubt that stable, two-parent households (of whatever flavor) are likely to be better off financially, more attentive to the upbringing of children and more secure than single-parent households.