"We must protect the children." That is the rallying cry of so many who oppose same-sex marriage. It is a lie designed by the Cultural Conservatives to gain acceptance by the mainstream media. And yet, these bastions of "righteousness" push a lie about how same-sex marriage harms children. Evidence, however, proves the opposite. The reality is that, as long as a child is wanted, loved and supported, they will grow up happy and healthy. Children need a stable, loving family, and it does not matter if they have two mothers, two fathers, or one of each. What is more, children of gay, lesbian, and transgendered parents are no more likely than any other child to suffer from sexuality and gender issues.
Given the difficulties involved for any same-sex couple having a child, children are often wanted. Children of same-sex couples are often a huge investment in time and money long before they are even conceived. Ultimately, same-sex couples are just like opposite-sex couples when it comes to raising a family with good and bad families populating both, according to all the research that has been done on this subject for the last ten years. Still, the desire to have a child through birth or adoption often means that child is wanted and loved.
A. P. Buxton’s 1999 study of one and two parent families is the most often used to attack the fitness of same sex couples to raise children, and how same-sex marriage would harm children. The reality is that Buxton’s study showed just the opposite. It is not the kinds of parents which are important, but the number- two parents are better than one. He isn’t the only one to make that point either. In preparation for the passage of same-sex marriage in Canada, a review of the known literature, and what was found is that there is no statistical difference between having two mothers, two father, or a mother and a father.
The reality is that children of same-sex couples are not harmed by the experiences that they get at home, but rather, are often harmed by their peers who may attack their ‘unconventional’ life. Indeed, in an article prepared for the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the findings were that the legally imposed instability of same sex marriages, and the lack of social acceptance of these families, were more detrimental to the mental health of a child. In terms of the mental development of children in, especially, lesbian families, there was almost no difference between them and the children of heterosexuals. In fact, a statistically significant number of the children of lesbian families showed a greater tendency to be affectionate and nurturing than the children of opposite sex couples. It should be noted that the bulk of the study dealt with lesbian families since it has been notoriously difficult to find same-sex male couples with children.
In the end, the lack of recognition of same-sex marriage is what harms children, not the existence of it. Children of same-sex couples are just has happy, healthy, and loving as the next child of a stable marriage. It is, however, society which harms children by preventing same-sex couples from having the stability that a family requires to thrive. We want marriage rights for our children as much as for ourselves. In an election cycle when three anti-marriage laws go before the voters, we must do what we can to protect our children.
I urge those in California, Florida and Arizona to set aside their discomfort of and forget the lies surrounding same-sex marriage and vote NO on Prop 8 (Cali), Amendment 2 (Flor) and Prop 11 (Ariz.) For the children, that should really be our rallying cry. In truth, we do this for our children, and for the children of our friends. This is as much about them as it is about us.
For the data presented by the AAP- http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/118/1/349
(I hope to continue to present more posts on the issue of same-sex marriage and to undermine many of the myths and lies that abound on this topic.)