At the playground, three-year-old Olivia sang to herself as her brother Stuart played on the monkey bars with a crowd of other little boys. It was a sweet, everyday moment with my best friend’s family.

My best friend Sarah has been with her wife Rachel for now more than 20 years – longer than my own mother and father were married. As co-moms to Olivia and Stuart, I marveled at their happy family when they visted me this year.

That summer day has been on my mind this week as experts testifying in DeBoer v Snyder have debunked myths – some would say lies – about the ability of same-sex couples to raise healthy, functional children.

The heart of the State’s argument against same-sex second parent adoption is based on studies that claim children are harmed when they are not raised by two married, heterosexual parents.

The New York Times noted that “longtime scholars in the field, backed by major professional organizations… call those studies fatally flawed. These scholars will describe a near consensus that, other factors like income and stability being equal, children of same-sex couples do just as well as those of heterosexual couples.” Well, duh.

It's important that the most reliable data supports the contention that LGBT parents are no better nor worse than heterosexual parents.

Yet for me and many others, we don’t need researchers to tell us what we live and witness every day: kids who needed a family and thrive in the loving, patient homes of the same-sex parents who said, “I commit myself to loving and caring for this child.”

Our research is the sight of kids with two moms that happily sing to themselves in their strollers while their siblings swing on monkey bars and dig around in the sandbox.

On Monday, ACLU LGBT and AIDS Project veteran attorney Leslie Cooper will cross-examine Mark Regnerus, the State’s star witness. Regnerus authored a deeply flawed study concluding that children raised in same-sex households fare worse than kids raised in married, heterosexual households.

Leslie Cooper fought for 12 years to end Florida’s same-sex adoption ban and won. She is expected bring that commitment to Michigan, building on the testimony earlier this week that poked big holes in the Regnerus study. 

Am I looking forward to watching Leslie Cooper skillfully attack Regnerus’ testimony on Monday? Absolutely. 

But my mind will really be on my friends' happy, curious, sweet, funny, lively, smart kids and a future with true equality and security that we are working to leave them.

Today in court:

Harvard professor and expert in gender and sexuality, Nancy Cott, was the only witness this morning. Mlive reports that Cott testified on the history of marriage, noting government’s heavy historical involvement in marriage.

Cott cited the history of interracial marriage bans in the U.S. and the loss of U.S. citizenship of American women who married foreigners as examples of government regulation of marriage.

According to Mlive, Cott testified that despite these many other ways in which government has historically regulated marriage, there have never been age-related marriage bans or marriage bans for people unable to have children, undercutting the State’s argument that marriage is primarily for procreative purposes.

To talk about the sweeping changes we've seen in the last decade and look at some upcoming challenges, we're talking about Marriage Matters . This series of blogs takes a look at history of the fight for LGBT rights in Michigan to an in-depth look at the DeBoer case, which could impact marriage equality in Michigan. 

By Mary Bejian, Director of Philanthropy