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Wrong data used to claim gays make poor parents April 3, 2010

Posted by Geekgirl in LGBT Families, psychology.
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Link to the entire article here. Ideal Families From the Journal of Marriage and Family, February issue

A quote from the beginning of this article.

The fundamental conviction that children need both a mother and a father in the home dominates bipartisan family discourse and influences weighty social policy in the United States.What’s more, proponents of this view, including some social scientists, assert social science legitimacy for this claim. The preamble to the 1996 Welfare Reform Act (PersonalResponsibility and Work Opportunity ReconciliationAct of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104 – 193, 110Stat. 2105, 1996) asserts just that.

The Federal Marriage Initiative that diverts money from welfare to promoting heterosexual marriage rests on this premise. On these grounds, the New York Court of Appeals rejected a suit for same-sex marriage (Hernandez v. Robles, 2006), proponent sof Proposition 8 convinced California voters to overturn their state supreme court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage (McKinley& Goodstein, 2008), and the state of Florida successfully defended its ban on gay adoption rights (Lofton v. Kearney, 2005).

Some familycourt judges still deny child custody to divorced lesbian parents on these grounds. Although such family values are generally identified with the Republican Party and the Bush administration, former President Clinton signed the welfare bill and the Defense of Marriage Act, and President Obama has repeated similar claims and statistics about children’s needs for fathers and has continued many Bush-era marriage promotion policies.

The social science research that is routinely cited, however, does not actually speak to the question of whether or not children need both a mother and a father at home. Instead, proponents generally cite research that compares such families with single parents, thus conflating the number with the gender of parents. At the same time, recurrent claims about the risks of fatherlessness routinely ignore research on same-gender parents that actually can speak directly to the issue.

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