Long before he became a senator, Al Franken (D-Mn) was a talented comedian, but at yesterday’s hearings on a bill to repeal the Defense Of Marriage Act(DOMA), Franken did not need any of that talent to completely demolish the testimony and credibility of Focus on the Family’s public policy chief, Tom Minnery.
All he needed were facts.
In an almost dead-pan voice, Franken said, “Mr. Minnery, on page eight of your written testimony, you write, quote, ‘Children living ? with their own married biological or adoptive mothers and fathers were generally healthier and happier, had better access to health care, less likely to suffer mild or severe emotional problems, did better in school, were protected from physical, emotional and sexual abuse, and almost never live in poverty compared with children in any other family form.’ You cite a Department of Health and Human Services study that I have right here from December 2010 to support this conclusion.”
“I checked the study out,” said Franken, “and I would like to enter into the record, if I may, that it actually doesn’t say what you said it says. It says, ‘nuclear families,’ not opposite-sex married families, are associated with those positive outcomes. isn’t it true, Mr. Minnery, that a married same-sex couple that has had or adopted kids would fall under the definition of a nuclear family in the study that you cite?”
“I would think,” replied Minnery, “that the study when it cites nuclear families would mean a family headed by a husband and wife.”
“It doesn’t,” Franken said, evoking laughter from other witnesses and spectators. “The study defines a nuclear family as one or more children living with two parents who are married to one another and are each biological or adoptive parents to all the children in the family. And I frankly don’t really know how we can trust the rest of your testimony if you are reading studies these ways.”