Book Review of James E. Phelan’s Successful Outcomes of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts: An Annotated Bibliography
Mark Yarhouse is arguably the most influential Christian voice in the field of sexual orientation and gender identity. He is an accomplished scholar who has attempted with general success to bridge the sometimes cavernous divide between secular professional and Christian worldviews as pertains to sexual minorities.
Same-Sex Marriage and Children is a history of how both the law and social science culminated in court cases that ultimately led to the success of marital equality in Obergefell. Professor Carlos A. Ball, Distinguished Professor of Law & Judge Frederick Lacey Scholar at Rutgers University Law School, has law degrees from both Cambridge University (UK, 1995) and the Columbia University School of Law (1990). He states that the purpose of his book was to “bring together historical, social science, and legal considerations and analyses to explore the role that procreative and child welfare claims have played in
policy and legal debates involving same-sex marriage” (p. 6). In chapter one, the book reviews conservative attempts to derail a number of past legal challenges to traditional assumptions about the nature and role of marriage and parenting. Chapters two and three delve into some of the false arguments about the alleged procreational function of marriage that would have (allegedly) been damaged by legal acceptance of same-sex marriage or other false arguments that marital status per se, parent’s gender, or a parent’s biological relationship to a child had material effects on child outcomes.