ADAM J. MCLEOD: President Obama’s statements on the importance of fatherhood are undercut by his actual policies.

The social experiment of genderless parenting has failed. Extensive studies have affirmed that fathers are essential to the enterprise of parenting. And the costs of encouraging fatherless families have proven to be very high. So, the president’s enthusiasm for preaching the virtues and importance of fatherhood is an encouraging development.

Unfortunately, the president has undercut this message with his own policies. In particular, his expressed interest in fatherhood is difficult to reconcile with his administration’s attack on fatherhood during the last term of the Supreme Court of the United States. Perhaps no one in the administration appreciates that, when it successfully argued that the Court should redefine marriage in United States v. Windsor, the administration helped to eliminate the legal office of fatherhood from federal law. . . .

New York’s marriage statute, which the Obama administration celebrated and relied upon in the Windsor case, reads, “It is the intent of the legislature that the marriages of same-sex and different-sex couples be treated equally in all respects under the law.” This definition of same-sex “marriage” rests upon the definition of marriage as a one-man-one-woman union, the very definition that it eradicates and replaces. The resulting incoherence obscures the plain logic of the new definition of marriage—namely, that fathers and/or mothers are dispensable.