MOBILE, Ala. (Christian Examiner) – Even as CNN's Chris Cuomo accused Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore of acting against same-sex marriage because of personal feelings and religious objections, U.S. District Court Judge Callie Granade has escaped scrutiny about the possibility that her personal feelings may have influenced her ruling in support of gay couples.
But at least one Facebook poster is questioning whether Judge Granade had a conflict of interest in making her ruling.
A person who self-identified as Ashton Harrington—with a profile description of "studied at the University of Alabama"—posted a screen capture with the note "Judge Ginny Granade appears to approve her son, Milton Granade's Facebook profile picture."
Judge Granade expresses "Great photo of you two!" in the comment stream.
"I would like to know if her decision was based on law or family preference," he asked, suggesting her son may be gay.
The judge with the U.S. District Court for Southern Alabama struck down Alabama's constitutional amendment, approved by 81 percent of voters in 2006, stating "the laws in question are an irrational way of promoting biological relationships in Alabama."
Using the argument of children's rights to support her ruling against traditional marriage, Granade said the state's "prohibition of same-sex marriage detracts from its goal of promoting optimal environments for children."
"Those children currently being raised by same-sex parents in Alabama are just as worthy of protection and recognition by the State as are the children being raised by opposite-sex parents," she continued. "Yet Alabama's Sanctity laws harms [sic] the children of same-sex couples for the same reasons that the Supreme Court found that the Defense of Marriage Act harmed the children of same-sex couples."
None of the public postings on Facebook indicate her son Milton Grenade has children or is seeking them.
Ironically, Granade's rationale is being countered by children, now adults, of same-sex couples. They contend children are mere pawns in same-sex marriage rulings—that the focus is on satisfying the desires of adults at the peril of the rights of children.
Four of these grown children have testified via amici curiae briefs to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, which took up a case Jan. 9, 2015, to decide whether to strike down same-sex marriage bans in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. In essence, each said same-sex marriage is harmful to children, in part because of exposure to harmful behavior, but mainly because children are not allowed to experience a natural biological relationship with a father and a mother:
-- "This is truly human trafficking: manipulating children into existence to satisfy the desires of adults," according to Katy Faust.
She was raised by her biological mother and lesbian partner since she was 10 when her parents divorced, and says the two women "were deeply involved in my childhood and adolescence, and I have fond memories" of their involvement in her life even now, as she and her husband "began to raise our children."
"I have remained in close contact with my mother and her partner. They continue to be a loving and supportive fixture in my family."
But she says she opposes gay marriage on the basis of the rights and well-being of children.
"With the redefinition of marriage, we are not simply allowing people to form relationships of their choosing," she said. "They have been doing so for decades."
"Now we are normalizing a family structure where a child will always be deprived daily of one gender influence and the relationship with at least one natural parent. Our cultural narrative becomes one that, in essence, tells children that they have no right to the natural family structure or their biological parents, but that children simply exist for the satisfaction of adult desires," she testified.
-- Robert Oscar Lopez, who was raised by his biological mother and her lesbian partner, said he resorted to sex with older men as a result of being denied a relationship with his natural father.
Now married and raising a family with his wife, Lopez said "insofar as all children have a mother and father but children placed in same-sex-couple homes are stripped of one of these two figures without their consent."
"We must honor the universal relationship between children and their father and mother. We must respect the fact that children are 'born that way' with a mother and father, always. Lastly, we must not tell children that they have to love adults who are not their parents simply because these gay adults say they love them and want to have custodial powers over them," he wrote.
-- B.N. Klein describes herself as a woman who was raised by her biological mother and her lesbian partner "in an atmosphere in which gay ideology was used as a tool of repression, retribution and abuse. I lived with gay abuse for years."
She also found "the gay community had an obsessive unhealthy invasive preoccupation with their children's sexuality. They in fact encouraged sexual activity—because 'they were open,'" she said. "My mother told me often that being a virgin was for the stupid."
Despite the abuse she said she experienced and saw in other gay parent families, she makes her points not because there is more abuse in gay parent homes, but because "in the gay world, abusers are protected and the victim punished."
In fact, she says, gay parenting can work but added the stipulation that "Everything works sometimes. But that does not mean it is in the best interest of the child. It means it serves the adults interest first."
-- Dawn Stefanowicz asked the Court to respect "the original definition of marriage as between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others" emphasizing she had a special perspective from her 30 years of experiences with her "father, his same-sex sexual partners" and LGBT "subcultures" she encountered.
She also felt the need to speak up because of "the (mostly flawed) same-sex parenting research and social science research."
Stefanowicz testified she loved her father "absolutely," despite his sexual abuse of her and her brothers, and, having been "exposed to overt sexual activities like sodomy, nudity, pornography, group sex, sadomasochism and the ilk"—and despite the constant turnover among her father's partners, each of whom she was forced to obey as a parent, her "rights and innocence" violated in the process. The bottom line for her: The same-sex home she was raised in "was not a safe place for children."
Overall, the point of each of the four "friends of the court" briefs was not to suggest all gays are bad parents, but to argue that marriage has always been about raising children and any decision regarding same-sex marriage should put the interests of children first and the wants of adults second.
"My kids need both of us," Faust said of herself and her husband. "Marriage law should always encourage and promote that ideal of mothers and fathers parenting their children together."
Granade was appointed a judge to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama in 2002 after being nominated by President George W. Bush in 2001. She was recommended by Alabama's U.S. Senators Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby, both Republican conservatives.