With the Supreme Court poised to hear arguments on same-sex marriage next week, a top pediatricians' group has issued a statement supporting marriage equality for all consenting couples, as well as full adoption and foster-care rights for parents regardless of sexual orientation.
"There is a lot of research to back up this policy," said Dr. Ellen C. Perrin, a professor of pediatrics at the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center in Boston and one of the lead authors. "If a child has two parents that are dedicated and willing to provide a permanent, secure family, why would we not support that family? It's clearly in the best interest of children."
This is not the first time the American Academy of Pediatrics, or AAP, has publicly addressed same-sex parenting. In 2002, the organization, which represents more than 60,000 pediatricians, issued a policy statement supporting second-parent adoption by partners of the same sex -- a stance it reaffirmed in 2010. In 2006, the group also published an article exploring the legal, financial and "psychosocial" ramifications of civil marriage. It concluded that more than 25 years of research have found no link between parents' sexual orientation, and their children's emotional well being.
Marriage confers many benefits that a more informal relationship does not. There are insurance issues, legal issues, issues at school, issues about emergency medical decisions, etc. Legally speaking, an unmarried parent is an only parent, with any support from a same-sex partner being limited by law. While single parents are more than capable of raising healthy families, laws barring marriage equality ban parents who want them from these extra benefits and privileges from access to them. as a result, children suffer.
"Many factors confer risk to children's healthy development and adult outcomes, such as poverty, parental depression, parental substance abuse, divorce, and domestic violence," the AAP said in an accompanying technical report on the science behind their decision. "But the sexual orientation of their parents is not among them."
[I]n one large national study of adolescent health, researchers looked at information from 44 teens who reported being raised by two women in a “marriage-like” family arrangement, and compared them with a random sample of 44 adolescents raised by heterosexual parents. Researchers found no differences in measures of self-esteem, depression, anxiety and school success, according to the report.
Another study called the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study includes 154 lesbian mothers (70 couples and 14 single mothers), and has tracked the children's health since 1986. At age 17, the children of the lesbian mothers were highly competent socially and academically, and had fewer social problems and aggressive behavior, according to the report.
Other recent studies show that families of gay men resemble closely those of lesbians, although fewer data are available because the numbers of gay men who are parenting have been small until recently, the report said.
Yet over at Politico, we find Republicans and conservative Democrats digging in their heels against the idea of marriage equality, even as polling shows public support skyrocketing. And looking over which congress critters we're talking about here, the problem becomes immediately obvious -- these aren't the right demographic. These are the "behind the times" generation.
A new Washington Post poll found support for same-sex marriage at historic highs, with 58 percent of Americans backing the right to marry for gays and lesbians, compared with 36 percent who believe it should be banned, a complete reversal from a decade ago. Among younger voters, the poll found a resounding 81 percent supporting same-sex marriage.
But while there’s been an uptick in support among older Americans, only 44 percent of those older than 65 back gay marriage, the poll said. The average age of senators is 61, while House members on average are 57, according to the Congressional Research Service.
So it's a doomed fight these people are waging. They will lose eventually. And all they're managing to do in the meantime is hurt families needlessly by delaying the inevitable. Seriously, that's it. That's the big, super-important result of their continuing bigotry. They're standing against a wave of healthy, well-adjusted children flooding our nation with their filthy ideas of love and equality.
But I suppose it wouldn't be bigotry if it served a constructive purpose.
[original photo by NeitherFanboy]