Historically, parental rights were grounded in biological kinship ties. Certain rights to the nurture and care of children were said to arise naturally out of that biological relationship, and therefore civil government had to respect those pre-existing rights.
But in 2015, the United States Supreme Court severely undermined that kind of argument. The Court said biological sex, as a matter of constitutional principle, was irrelevant to marriage.
But that also makes it irrelevant to the other legal issues that flow out of marriage, such as parenthood.
Now some legal scholars are saying that parenthood must be based on the functions a person performs and then the status of parent bestowed on those who carry out those functions.
But when government, not biology, controls who is a parent, parental rights as a real thing no longer exist.
The FACT Report, featured on several conservative radio stations, is a weekly one-minute audio commentary about a political or cultural issue affecting Tennesseans.
Get the FACT Report Podcast as a feed.
Learn more about all our RSS options.