Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thinking of the Children

From the NY Times:
While opponents of same-sex marriage worry that schools will teach that gay and straight relationships are equal, many supporters focus on a different, but still child-centered, issue: What about the children now being raised in families headed by gay men and lesbians? How does the lack of marriage benefits for their parents affect them?
Many gay rights activists think that hearing articulate children of same-sex parents ask why their families should have fewer rights than their neighbors goes a long way toward turning the family values argument on its head. ....Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, a New York-based organization that advocates for legalized same-sex marriage, said: “There is no good reason to punish children raised by gay parents by denying parents marriage and its protections. It harms kids rather than helping them.”
Of course, then there's
“The real question is whether same-sex relationships benefit children to the same extent that living with a married mother and father does, and we believe they do not,” said Peter S. Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council, the conservative Christian organization. “Children do best when raised by their own biological mother and father who are committed to one another in a lifelong marriage.”
So you think our kids will suddenly revert to the Cleavers if we can't marry? That we won't have kids? Or that we'll all become straight and marry opposite sex partners? Honestly, the (il)logic of these people!

Update: Amongst the many powerful amicus briefs for the Prop8 trial is this one from the American Anthropological Assn, American Psychoanalytic Assn, National Assn. of Social Workers, American Academy of Pediatrics California Chapter
The positive benefits children accrue from being raised by civilly married parents are independent of those parents’ sexual orientation. It is the consensus view of the field of developmental psychology of children, the traits of an effective parent do not depend on the gender of that parent. This is because the factors that must affect child development … have nothing to do with parental gender or sexual orientation.”

They also added:

“Depriving same-sex couples of the ability to marry has adverse effects on their children.”

“The stigma created by the state’s differential treatment of gay men and women has severe psychological and social impacts.”
“Singling our gay men and women as ineligible for the institution of marriage invites the public to discriminate against them.”

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