Home > IRTIC's, Marriage Redefinition > Intelligent Replies to Idiotic Comments, Part 2, (Gasp!!!)

Intelligent Replies to Idiotic Comments, Part 2, (Gasp!!!)

August 11th, 2011

“But same sex couples already have children!”  This is not, strictly speaking, an idiotic comment, since it is a statement of fact.  However, I want to call your attention to the exasperated gasp (EG for short) that usually accompanies this comment.  The EG is designed to intimidate the listener into believing that some deeply important conclusion follows instantly and obviously from the observation that same sex couples already have children in their homes.  The Exasperated Gasp is supposed to convey that the whole issue is a done deal, and we shouldn’t offer any resistance to further social change.  Let’s examine this. What exactly is it that supposedly follows automatically and obviously?

Same sex couples should be encouraged to have more children.  No, that doesn’t follow.  You’d have to make an argument to support that conclusion.

Same sex couples will continue to have more children, no matter what the law does or doesn’t do.  No, that doesn’t follow either. As a matter of fact, the law can, if it chooses, make it quite difficult for same sex couples to share parenting rights.

Same sex couples have children the same way opposite sex couples do. No, that is manifestly untrue. The Exasperated Gasp is meant to divert attention from the fact that same sex couples can only have a child if someone gives them one, or at least one of the gametes needed to create a child. Same sex couples need assistance from the legal, social and medical establishments in order to give birth to children, and to have legal parenting rights to those children. No where in the Exasperated Gasp is there any explanation at all, or even any attempt at an explanation, as to why anyone ought to assist same sex couples to achieve their reproductive goals or whether anyone has a moral duty to assist them.

Same sex couples should be allowed to marry so “their” children can have all the benefits of marriage.  No, this doesn’t follow either.  This assumes that the “marriage” of a same sex couple will work in the same way as the marriage of a man and a woman. This is highly doubtful. We already know that in terms of economic behavior, male couples are different from female couples, and both are different from married couples. We also know that separation rates (ie divorces) are different for male couples and for female couples and both are different (higher, like way higher) than for married couples.  We have no reason to assume that  same sex “marriage” will function in the same way, and convey all the same benefits to children, as natural, conjugal marriage does.

So, to answer our opening question, What exactly is it that supposedly follows automatically and obviously?  Answer: Absolutely nothing follows automatically and obviously.  The points that we are meant to infer are either not obviously true, (and hence require an actual argument) or not true at all.

The true statement, But same sex couples already have children!” accompanied by an Exasperated Gasp, is either an intimidation tactic, or another idiotic comment.  Take your pick.

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  1. August 11th, 2011 at 12:45 | #1

    My goodness. Now our very breathing is an assault on your rights.

  2. August 11th, 2011 at 12:58 | #2

    “We already know that in terms of economic behavior, male couples are different from female couples, and both are different from married couples. We also know that separation rates (ie divorces) are different for male couples and for female couples and both are different (higher, like way higher) than for married couples. We have no reason to assume that same sex “marriage” will function in the same way, and convey all the same benefits to children, as natural, conjugal marriage does.”

    You wrote about this study by Gary Gates back on May 19. In that post you failed to mention that this same study says that both partners being African-American is negatively correlated with staying together. Same as when both partners are Asian/Pacific Islander. Or when the couple is interracial (pages 14-15).

    Yet I’m sure you would never conclude that “there is no reason to believe” that interracial marriage, or marriage between African-Americans, or between Asian would function the same as marriage between two white people. Surely you would denounce such a conclusion.

    So why are you so eager to say it about gays?

  3. Marty
    August 11th, 2011 at 14:06 | #3

    Well said. I would also like to comment on what I find to be incongruent:

    Same sex couples should be allowed to marry so “their” children can have all the benefits of marriage.

    versus

    Same sex couples will continue to have more children, no matter what the law does or doesn’t do.

    Surely, after all the handwringing about the “benefits” of marriage that are being deprived of children in same-sex households, there are surely a number of same-sex couples who will NOT be having children — knowing that they would just be “deprived” of all those important benefits. Surely someone IS thinking of the children, right?

    All the more reason in my eyes that society should NOT recognize/encourage same-sex marriage. SSM will inevitably mean that more children, not fewer, are deliberately deprived either a mother or a father.

  4. Regan DuCasse
    August 11th, 2011 at 15:16 | #4

    All kinds of married couples will be different from each other. Whether that couple is gay or not, each will be unique and have unique challenges and character to their situation.

    The only common thread would be being legally married and each, whether gay or not deserve the choice to marry who shares their sexual orientation, as well as everything else.
    JRM here, is being sophist about something the government can neither protect or enforce. And that IS the character of actual marriages, and married people.

    Note that those things that make staying happily married and secure very difficult, continue apace. Discrimination against gay people doesn’t change it. What’s important is encouraging people who care enough about each other and their children to marry. After all, it’s not like there are laws that can make people keep to their spousal and custodial parental duty, so what good can come from keeping gay people from doing so, who already are and really want to?
    This article doesn’t address that main and most important factor. But it sure treats supporters of discrimination as if you’re too dumb to figure it out, or to chum up the situation because you have no good reason for discrimination either.

  5. Anna
    August 11th, 2011 at 16:11 | #5

    “Same sex couples need assistance from the legal, social and medical establishments in order to give birth to children, and to have legal parenting rights to those children. No where in the Exasperated Gasp is there any explanation at all, or even any attempt at an explanation, as to why anyone ought to assist same sex couples to achieve their reproductive goals or whether anyone has a moral duty to assist them.”

    Thank you, Dr J.
    No one has a “right” to a child. Society can and should consider the needs of children before the desires of adults.
    Ssm creates the condition for children to be deliberately, by law(!) not unforeseen circumstance, to be deprived of either a mother or father.

  6. Priya Lynn
    August 11th, 2011 at 17:42 | #6

    Anna said “Ssm creates the condition for children to be deliberately, by law(!) not unforeseen circumstance, to be deprived of either a mother or father.”.

    Your “logic” is fatally flawed. It is no deprivation to have two fathers or two mothers rather than a father and a mother. Decades of research have shown children of same sex couples do just as well, if not better than children of heterosexual couples:

    http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/parenting.aspx

    Now people opposed to marriage like to claim decades of social science research shows children do best with a father and mother and frequently list research ostensibly to support that claim. The problem is the research they list never compares same sex parents to opposite sex parents, it compares opposite sex parents to single parents. Don’t fall for this common dishonesty amongst marriage opponents, read what the American Psychological association says about same sex parents – having two fathers or two mothers is no deprivation.

  7. David in Houston
    August 11th, 2011 at 17:42 | #7

    “As a matter of fact, the law can, if it chooses, make it quite difficult for same sex couples to share parenting rights.”

    What, exactly, would be the rational basis for the government to do that? The result would be less children being adopted by qualified couples. As you must know, there are not enough opposite-sex couples available to adopt children. So why do you want to harm those children that don’t have any parents? You have also yet to prove that EVERY straight person would make a better parent than EVERY gay person. Because that is what you are implying. That ANY two opposite-sex couples would inherently make better parents than ANY two same-sex couples. Good luck proving that.

    “Same sex couples have children the same way opposite sex couples do.”
    Sometimes that is true. Google search: Pastor Jim Swilley for an example. It is possible for a gay man to father children. That is what happens when societal pressures force gay people to pretend to be straight.

    To other commenters that have pull out the old chestnut, “a child deserves a mother and a father”. There are currently 20 million children being raised in single-parent families. You just threw all those parents (and their children) under-the-bus in your quest to demonize gay people. Based on your ideology, the logical thing to do would be to remove those children and place them in two-parent homes if the single-parent is unable to find a mate within a reasonable amount of time. This is all about the child’s well being, right? …or is it okay for the child to be raised by one parent, as long as that parent is straight? All things being equal, I’m pretty sure that two parents are better than one, regardless of the person’s sexual orientation.

    What about grandparents raising children? They aren’t the biological parents of the child. My brother and his wife are raising their son’s child because he and his ex-girl friend are not responsible enough to do it themselves. Obviously, they are step-parents to the child. Yet I don’t hear you condemning these non-traditional parents. Why is that?

  8. Sean
    August 11th, 2011 at 17:46 | #8

    “Surely, after all the handwringing about the “benefits” of marriage that are being deprived of children in same-sex households, there are surely a number of same-sex couples who will NOT be having children — knowing that they would just be “deprived” of all those important benefits. Surely someone IS thinking of the children, right?”

    I’m sure there are. And there are quite a few straight couples with children who refuse to get married for whatever selfish reasons. Again, selfish adults still get to call the shots: deny children the benefits of marriage, either because you don’t care about your children, or you don’t want gay couples to get married.

  9. Sean
    August 11th, 2011 at 17:50 | #9

    “All the more reason in my eyes that society should NOT recognize/encourage same-sex marriage. SSM will inevitably mean that more children, not fewer, are deliberately deprived either a mother or a father.”

    Well, again, I guess the children of same-sex couples get to be acceptable collateral damage. It seems unlikely that gay couples who want to raise children, just like infertile couples or adoptive couples like Dr. Morse and her husband, are not going to let biology deter them, nor, in the case of same-sex couples, bans on same-sex marriage.

    Single parents also “deprive” children of one or the other gender. There appears to be little effort to stop single parenting. Divorce deprives children of both bio-parents in their home, and creates all the well-documented maladies among these children.

    Gosh straight people are selfish!

  10. Marty
    August 11th, 2011 at 19:54 | #10

    Sean: “Single parents also “deprive” children of one or the other gender. There appears to be little effort to stop single parenting.

    Well nobody is promoting it either, much less demanding special recognition for being NOT married.

    You want to get married fine, and you’re perfectly free to choose not to. That’s exactly what all these same-sex couples have done. They have chosen something other than Marriage. If the children are “collateral damage” by that, you have only the couple (or more often, the one bio-parent) to blame.

  11. John Noe
    August 11th, 2011 at 20:43 | #11

    Jennifer that was brillant and let us use this information as we try to win the hearts and minds of open minded Americans that if we put the needs of children ahead of the selfish self centered sexual desires of adults we all will be better off.

    As Anna points out the needs of children to have a father and mother are very important to children. It is very disgusting when we see children being raised by two phony moms or dads. Of course there is no such thing as two moms or dads. I feel so sad for the innocent children who are put into this situation.

    Children do so much better with a mother and a father than with same sex couples. Of course simple biology ought to tell us that. Your article also validates the issues that John Howard raises.

  12. jake
    August 12th, 2011 at 05:08 | #12

    @John Noe In your opinion but not according to fact.

  13. Heidi
    August 12th, 2011 at 07:12 | #13

    I am so sick and tired of hearing about the so-called “selfish” desires of LGBT adults. Parenting a child is probably one of the most selfless acts that one can do, especially when that child is not biologically related to you. I certainly didn’t deprive the niece that I am raising as my daughter of her biological parents–they did that themselves. My partner and I are this little girl’s two moms; she is not confused about that or deprived of even an ounce of love and security. The home and family that we have provided is far superior to anything that her biological parents could have provided for her. I dare anyone to prove otherwise.

    I didn’t plan on raising another child. My biological child is now an adult. But I put aside my “selfish desires” to be free from the responsibility of child-rearing and took in this beautiful little girl at three days old. She is now three years old and absolutely thriving. Both my partner and I have sacrificed so that this child could have the family that she needs and deserves. Our home is filled to the brim with love. I dare anyone to come into our home and see our wonderful family and then conclude that this little girl is deprived of anything.

    Please stop calling us selfish just for wanting to have and raise children. While not everyone wants to or will have children, regardless of sexual orientation, it is certainly not selfish for wanting to love and raise a child. In fact, it is the exact opposite of selfishness. And our children absolutely deserve married parents and the protection and stability that marriage brings to a family. To deprive us of the right to marry is to deprive our little girl of married parents, because let us make no mistake here—we ARE her parents–the only ones she has ever known.

    As an aside, I officiated at a wedding ceremony for my best friend’s parents this past weekend. They found out 35 years after their first wedding ceremony that their marriage was never properly recorded and was therefore not legal. I was honored to marry them, but it is a dark irony that I can marry other people but can’t get married to the one that I love. I have faith that this soon will change, even if I end up a 60-something bride! Regardless of whether we ever get the right to marry, we will raise our wonderful daughter and will remain a family–even if the small-minded and the law refuse to acknowledge us as such.

  14. Regan DuCasse
    August 12th, 2011 at 07:51 | #14

    Sean, Rob and David are making the case that addresses the better REALITY, not an endorsement of measures that do nothing to protect ALL children. Just the children of an ideal couple that in fact, doesn’t exist as a majority.

    Anna’s statement that ‘no one has a right to a child’ isn’t a legal or societal reality, in that the state doesn’t RESTRICT a person from having a child any way they want to.
    There are no competence or resource tests to be a biological parent. Nor is there a morals or competence test to MARRY. Let alone a religious test to do so.
    So there is no reason to restrict gay people on a basis that isn’t in the law, nor societal reality.
    Marriage discrimination doesn’t exist in the law on the basis of procreative ability or intent BECAUSE there are no tests on the qualities that one can or will bring AS a parent.

    And since heterosexuals are not tested or TRAINED in this, none of you anti equality folks have a basis on which to make your claims of who is a better parent and who isn’t. Or who will be.

    However, a child is a child. And leaving them more vulnerable to instability and harm to get back at their gay parents, REGARDLESS of the good parenting they are providing, has nothing to do with caring about or for ALL children. Just the children you approve of.

    And there is the serious reality that there is more supply than demand. There are thousands of children with NO PARENTS or loving homes to care for them. Brian Brown hasn’t adopted any, neither has Maggie Gallagher and JRM doesn’t have more than one.
    So it’s put up or shut up time.
    It’s one thing to not save a child yourselves. It’s WORSE to keep a loving gay parent from doing so and optimizing the protection of THEIR children (adopted or biological) through marriage.
    Marriage equality for gay people addresses a serious and important reality: that gay people CAN and DO achieve what this society DOES support.

    And the real question is: why punish gay people for doing what hetero people are applauded for doing?
    A morally ethical person could easily answer that one. And Sean, David and Rob already have.

  15. The_L
    August 12th, 2011 at 09:17 | #15

    OK, I’m still waiting for INTELLIGENT replies, please. The points are that:

    1. The children of gay couples ALREADY EXIST, and as such, deserve the benefits of married parents (the marital status of one’s parents being a Very Good Thing is already an established fact, and has been verified by NOM many times). To punish these children for having gay parents–a fact that they cannot control or help–is cruel.

    2. Why are you comparing breakups of gay, unmarried couples to divorce? That’s like saying that my experience dating a young man for 3 months (I am female) and then breaking up with him is equivalent to me getting MARRIED (which implies an entirely different level of commitment than was actually there) for 3 months, then filing for a divorce. Marriage is a bigger deal than dating. That’s why divorce is a bigger deal than a teen breakup. To equate the relationships of gay people who would get married if they could with the sort of “casual dating” that EVERYBODY engages in before marriage is extremely dishonest.

    Frankly, I had thought better of you.

  16. August 12th, 2011 at 10:33 | #16

    Dr. Morse, I’m surprised that you write this: “Same sex couples should be allowed to marry so “their” children can have all the benefits of marriage.”

    Is the “their” in quotes because the children in question are not biologically related to both of “their” parents? Is that not the case for one of “your” children? Do you introduce your adopted child to people as, “This is so-and-so, “my” child?” Or is it just the children of gay couples who get the quotes? And if so, what is your justification for that discrepancy?

  17. Leo
    August 12th, 2011 at 13:55 | #17

    Dr. Morse is spot on. Much of this discussion revolves around people using the same words in different ways and in equating two things that they know are not equal.

    An infertile woman is not the same as a man. Sean must know that, since he is not attracted to infertile women.

    What does “having children” mean?

    What does “qualified couples” mean, and what or who qualifies them?

    Almost all the arguments for de-gendering marriage require changing definitions or taking a word (or a court decision) out of one context and selectively applying it in a different context.

  18. Sean
    August 12th, 2011 at 16:58 | #18

    @Anna

    “No one has a “right” to a child. Society can and should consider the needs of children before the desires of adults.”

    But adults do have a right to raise children, unless they harm or abuse a child. That’s simply a fact. That’s why single parenting, bad parenting, alcoholic parenting, straight parenting, gay parenting, old people parenting, murderer parenting, etc., are all perfectly legal. There is simply little legally available to society to stop a person or a couple from raising a child. A person can murder someone and still be a parent in our society. You can be convicted of molesting children and still be a parent.

    If you want to judge, and outlaw, certain kinds of parenting, go for it, but the “outlaw” part won’t be nearly so easy and fun as the “judge” part.

    “Ssm creates the condition for children to be deliberately, by law(!) not unforeseen circumstance, to be deprived of either a mother or father.”

    And that’s ok: the kids of same-sex parents do just fine. The kids of single parents, I’m not so sure, but kids with two parents who love them seem to be happy and well-adjusted.

  19. Sean
    August 12th, 2011 at 17:04 | #19

    @Marty

    “You want to get married fine, and you’re perfectly free to choose not to. That’s exactly what all these same-sex couples have done. They have chosen something other than Marriage. If the children are “collateral damage” by that, you have only the couple (or more often, the one bio-parent) to blame.”

    I think if they have a valid marriage license from their state, they’re married. They consider themselves married, as does the state. I think that’s all that really matters, to them and to their children, for the benefits of marriage to kick in. No research suggests that other people’s approval or disapproval has an impact on someone’s marriage.

  20. Sean
    August 12th, 2011 at 17:05 | #20

    “As Anna points out the needs of children to have a father and mother are very important to children.”

    It can’t be that important, or else society would outlaw same-sex parenting, single parenting and divorce. Society would force widows to remarry.

  21. Sean
    August 12th, 2011 at 17:07 | #21

    “Children do so much better with a mother and a father than with same sex couples.”

    That doesn’t seem to be the case. And it doesn’t really matter what circumstances kids to well or poorly in, because being a parent is a fundamental right, not denied even to convicted murderers. Even if same-sex parents were bad parents, it wouldn’t really matter: banning same-sex marriage does nothing to stop same-sex couples from parenting.

  22. Anna
    August 13th, 2011 at 09:40 | #22

    “Anna’s statement that ‘no one has a right to a child’ isn’t a legal or societal reality, in that the state doesn’t RESTRICT a person from having a child any way they want to.”

    This is only true about natural reproduction. Other ways of becoming a parent -adoption or ART -can be and are regulated to varying degrees. For example, France limits the use of medically assisted reproduction to infertile married couples and surrogacy is illegal, as opposed to places like California or India where a person can buy eggs, buy sperm, buy a surrogate womb and fabricate a *genetic orphan* to satisfy their desire to be a parent.
    No society is obligated to sanction a “right” to child by any means other than the way nature provides.

    With adoption the state creates a legal status to replace the natural one. It is not an alternative means of procreation- every child is born to a man and a woman- adoption is to benefit children, not an incentive for adults to procure a child.

    Every person, gay or straight, becomes a parent heterosexually. So the status *same-sex parents* is a legal creation without a natural counterpart. This is a fact and it is quite possible that it will create an incentive. The question is now an ethical one.
    Quoting Dr. Morse, again:
    “Same sex couples need assistance from the legal, social and medical establishments in order to give birth to children, and to have legal parenting rights to those children. No where in the Exasperated Gasp is there any explanation at all, or even any attempt at an explanation, as to why anyone ought to assist same sex couples to achieve their reproductive goals or whether anyone has a moral duty to assist them.”
    ————–

    “Dr. Morse is spot on. Much of this discussion revolves around people using the same words in different ways and in equating two things that they know are not equal.”

    I agree, Leo. It’s almost as if we are speaking different languages. :-)

  23. Leo
    August 13th, 2011 at 11:12 | #23

    Society outlaws some things, ignores some things, encourages some things, and mandates some things. A society that values liberty might rationally and functionally rely on a middle range of options even when promoting an important public good. Sean fallaciously ignores that middle range of options. Full employment is generally valued as an important public good, but we don’t outlaw being unemployed, and we haven’t mandated that employers hire all applicants. That doesn’t mean that employment is unimportant or that we shouldn’t create institutions designed to promote it, just like we create institutions designed to encourage families having both a mother and a father. Why is it so hard for Sean to understand these things?

  24. Regan DuCasse
    August 13th, 2011 at 11:59 | #24

    The need to have a responsible parent, is up to the parents. The laws obviously can’t MAKE someone a competent and loving parent, but the DOUBLE standard at work here is ASSUMING that ONLY heteros and op sex couples are the best or ONLY kinds of people who make ideal parents AND children.

    Were that true: the issue of abused, poverty stricken, neglected and abandoned children by the MILLIONS wouldn’t be reality.
    Every child would HAVE those parents and everyone could just go home.

    But the EVIDENCE is that a child needs LOVE, security and committed and responsible ADULTS. Period.
    There is no evidence that homosexuality makes someone a bad parent, than heterosexuality makes someone an ideal one.

    The FACTS in evidence are that sexual orientation and gender do not matter in what qualities an adult can bring to being a parent. Neither does the biological or familial structure. Caring, loving and natural instincts for good parenting isn’t bestowed on GROUPS, it’s bestowed on INDIVIDUALS.
    And anyone denying that TRUTH, is a liar.

  25. Leo
    August 13th, 2011 at 15:01 | #25

    Parents are not fungible. Natural parents, except in extreme cases, have a natural right to be legally linked to their children that the state should not tamper with (as has often been tragically done with conquered and colonized people in the name of progress and enlightenment). To deny that truth is to lay the foundations of tyranny.

    Non-biological parents might be properly assigned legal rights by the state, but only in carefully screened cases and only with the consent of biological parents and the consent of the sovereign people. That consent might rightly include considerations to avoid assigning children not carrying the gay gene to households incompatible with their deepest and innermost genetic nature, lest it deny them family role models consistent with their true identity, again as was done with conquered and colonized people.

  26. Sean
    August 13th, 2011 at 18:29 | #26

    “Society outlaws some things, ignores some things, encourages some things, and mandates some things. A society that values liberty might rationally and functionally rely on a middle range of options even when promoting an important public good. Sean fallaciously ignores that middle range of options.”

    Sean ignored nothing, Leo. There is no rational purpose to reward straight people for forming couples and committing to each other, but not to do the same for gay people. It doesn’t change anything, discourage anything, promote anything. It is simply a way for straight people to feel superior, or keep gay people marginalized.

    It makes no more sense to deny marriage licenses to gay people than it does to deny them drivers’ licenses, which is probably next on the homophobics’ list. It serves no purpose, and violates the constitutional rights of gay and lesbian Americans.

    There is no particular need to promote straightness. There are plenty of straight people. There are plenty of straight couples. I think they’re great, but I think they’re no greater than straight couples.

  27. Sean
    August 13th, 2011 at 18:36 | #27

    “Natural parents, except in extreme cases, have a natural right to be legally linked to their children”

    Is anyone trying to sever the links between parents and their children? I know of no one, and no cases where it’s happened. I think you’re trying to create fear mongering. Any parent has a right to his or her children, unless he or she has has done something to lose that right.

    “That consent might rightly include considerations to avoid assigning children not carrying the gay gene to households incompatible with their deepest and innermost genetic nature, lest it deny them family role models consistent with their true identity, again as was done with conquered and colonized people.”

    Parents in a position to choose are free to let surrogates raise their children who share their values. A white girl giving up a child for adoption may have some say to prevent a black family from caring for her child. Someone else might prefer an Atheist family, in order to avoid exposing her child to religious views.

    Since many straight people abandon their children, they lose the right to choose where those children end up though.

  28. Leo
    August 14th, 2011 at 06:12 | #28

    If all the world was like Sean, the world would be soon be depopulated. I don’t think that is so great. Heterosexual couples fulfill an absolutely vital societal function. Homosexual couples do not. There is a real difference. Without heterosexual couples, gay couples couldn’t have any kids. Even Sean must realize that.

    Sean’s theory of law absurdly asserts that marriage has nothing to do with children. This theory abolishes centuries of law family law and does sever the legal link between parents and children. Sean must have conveniently forgotten the discussion about a legal status for non-adoptive, non-biological “parenting.”

    History knows no state where marriage has nothing to do with children. Only fiction portrays such societies, e.g. Brave New World. Sean proposes such a dystopia and pretends it won’t affect the rest of us.

  29. Regan DuCasse
    August 14th, 2011 at 08:02 | #29

    @Anne

    It goes back to there is no RESTRICTION against those who choose to be parents who go the route that involves infertility support, surrogates or other means to have a biological child.

    That JRM wants such restrictions against gay people, wouldn’t be any more right or fair, than discriminating against gay adults marrying because of not spontaneously procreating or having contraceptive sex would be. The state CAN’T do that. There is no REASON for the state to do so, because there is no competence or morality test for marrying or parenting for ANYONE.
    If you can’t discriminate against one group of people for not being fertile or the IDEAL kind of parents, then NO ONE can be discriminated against. There is no rational reason to do so against gay people for any of those reasons.
    And when, as I said, there is more supply than demand of children, it’s the heteros making babies irresponsibly that require the state to find SOMEONE who cares enough and is compassionate enough to adopt these children.
    And not enough MARRIED heteros are STEPPING up.

    And apparently you have no solution to that, but to keep gay parents FROM marrying and optimizing that responsibility and care.
    Or to deny a gay couple without children the option so they can’t take care of each other.

    If YOU and your ilk aren’t stepping into the breach, then the state’s wisdom DICTATES that for gay people and THEIR children to be secured, marriage and ALL it’s legal aspects must be in play.

    Your opinion doesn’t mean squat in the day’s realities. It’s just an opinion, it’s not even a truth that can ADDRESS the reality.
    It’s not occurring to you that in the real world of reserving marriage and children for ideal adults, doesn’t exist.
    And sometimes in the world of adoption, the ideal parents you think should have those available kids would prefer IDEAL CHILDREN.

    A child unwanted by hetero people is a fact of life too. So since YOU and a lot of people like you WON’T save that child from a life without love and a home, but a gay person CAN…they who ARE you to deny either of them the need and satisfaction to care for each other and love each other?

    Just WHAT do you think a gay person is supposed to do?
    Starve for it, while you gorge yourself on the bounty of marriage and children no matter HOW many marriages and children get messed up by their hetero parents in the process?

    Like I said, the talent to raise a child isn’t bestowed on GROUPS. It’s bestowed in individuals. And no, gender and sexual orientation don’t matter.
    And never did.

  30. Regan DuCasse
    August 14th, 2011 at 08:09 | #30

    @Anna
    You didn’t answer my question:

    Why punish gay people for ACCOMPLISHING what heteros are applauded for doing?

    You base your comments on the assumption that gay people can’t accomplish the same things, nor have the same circumstances that are legally acceptable for everyone.

    So, you think you know so much, ANSWER THE QUESTION.

  31. Kevin S.
    August 14th, 2011 at 15:25 | #31

    That might be relevant if Sean had advocated for banning heterosexuality or trashed straight people in any way. He didn’t. In fact, he said that straight people and straight couples are great. What he said was they didn’t need to be promoted at the expense of LGBT, and let’s be honest here, straight people don’t need government prodding to keep on making babies.

  32. Anna
    August 15th, 2011 at 14:01 | #32

    ‘It goes back to there is no RESTRICTION against those who choose to be parents who go the route that involves infertility support, surrogates or other means to have a biological child.”

    I gave you an example of a state government that has very specific restrictions that are just and ethical in my opinion.

    “The state CAN’T do that. There is no REASON for the state to do so, because there is no competence or morality test for marrying or parenting for ANYONE.”

    People who are deemed mentally incompetent or underage need a guardian’s approval to marry. People who are too closely related can’t marry. People who abuse or neglect their children have them taken away. Adoptive parents go through a rigorous screening.

    “You didn’t answer my question:
    Why punish gay people for ACCOMPLISHING what heteros are applauded for doing?”

    This is an accusation, not a question.

  33. Anna
    August 15th, 2011 at 15:54 | #33

    I hope I will be forgiven by Ruth blog readers for going a bit OT but I want to inform you about something I found while perusing laws regarding surrogacy.

    From wikipedia:
    “California is especially popular due to its enforcable surrogacy agreements.[24] Surrogacy is well developed around Camp Pendleton in California. With the accommodating laws of the State of California and the long overseas deployments of husbands, wives have found surrogacy to be a means to supplement military incomes and to provide a needed service.”

    Military wives are renting out their wombs… are US taxpayers picking up the tab for all expenses involved? Unbelievable!

  34. Sean
    August 15th, 2011 at 16:42 | #34

    “If all the world was like Sean, the world would be soon be depopulated.”

    Really? Is Sean infertile or something? This is awfully presumptive statement, Sean thinks.

    “Heterosexual couples fulfill an absolutely vital societal function.”

    But only fertile ones. Society doesn’t get kids from infertile couples, or elderly ones, or ones who kill womb babies, or who use birth control.

    “Without heterosexual couples, gay couples couldn’t have any kids. Even Sean must realize that.”

    I’m not sure why you think a lesbian couple can’t go buy or procure some sperm and make a zygote. It’s really no big deal. Some lesbians might even have sex with a man, in order to get some sperm. Again, no big deal.

    “Sean’s theory of law absurdly asserts that marriage has nothing to do with children.”

    That’s because the law says that marriage has nothing to do with children. No couple is required to have children, in order to get, or stay, married. No couple with children must get married. It is extremely difficult to see what the legal connection between marriage and children is. What do you see that I don’t?

    “This theory abolishes centuries of law family law and does sever the legal link between parents and children.”

    Well, no, if kids show up, they can be dealt with if the couple is married. Just like owning a home. No, you don’t have to own a home in order to get, or stay, married.

    “History knows no state where marriage has nothing to do with children.”

    Well, it might be that years ago people had to have children in order to get, or stay, married. Or maybe they had to get married if they created a child. But it’s not true today. And we live in the here and now, not yesteryear.

  35. John Noe
    August 15th, 2011 at 17:11 | #35

    @John Noe In your opinion but not according to fact.

    Actually my post is a fact and not an opinion. Children do need a mother and a father and it is cruel to children to deny them a mother and father on purpose. It is wrong of society to accomondate same sex couples and allow them to adopt children. Inexusable that the greedy, selfish, self centered sexual desires of homosexual adults comes before the needs of children. It is innocent children who are harmed in all this. They had no say in who got to be their adoptive parent. They had no say in getting a mom and a dad. The state failed to protect their rights.
    Letting lesbians adopt and have children is horrible. It caters to that selfish radical feminist lie that men and fathers are irrelevant. The lesbians view men like fish going upstream to sperm. Just drop one off and swim away. Yet the overwheliming testimony of fatherless children and the harm to societys shows. The majority of the participants in the British riots had no fathers. Lesbians deny a boy the father he needs to help him grow up and become a man. Lesbians deny the girl the father she needs as her guardian and protector. Where is my daddy they ask?
    Having homosexual male couples is even worse. They are always off and having sex with multiple partners rather than being the parent the child needs. I really feel bad for the boy in this regard as he is sexually abused. Of course they deny the child that special mother/son or mother/daughter relationship.
    There are NOM blogs with testimony from children who were harmed in homosexual households. Let us always keep the children in mind when we fight the homosexual attempts to hijack the institution of marriage.

  36. John Noe
    August 15th, 2011 at 17:20 | #36

    OK, I’m still waiting for INTELLIGENT replies, please. The points are that:

    1. The children of gay couples ALREADY EXIST, and as such, deserve the benefits of married parents

    Just because society has to tolerate something does not mean it has to approve, encourage, endorse, and promote such a thing. Smokers, drunkards, and drug users exist but that does not mean that we bestow benefits on them and then turn around and promote this behavior.
    It is a sad fact that there are selfish, greedy, self centered homosexuals thinking only about their lustfull sexual desires have become parents and denied children a mother or father. Okay homosexual parents are not criminals but that does not mean we actually approve or endorse this way of parenting. By keeping marriage as one man/one woman we are stating that this is the ideal way we as a society want to promote parenting.

    Oh by the way the government benefits that come with marriage are incentives to procreate. Since homosexuals do not procreate they do not deserve these benefits.

  37. bman
    August 15th, 2011 at 18:47 | #37

    KevinS:…..let’s be honest here, straight people don’t need government prodding to keep on making babies.

    Straight people who have babies need prodding to get/stay married.

  38. bman
    August 15th, 2011 at 19:02 | #38

    Priya Lynn: Decades of research have shown children of same sex couples do just as well, if not better than children of heterosexual couples..

    The following is from http://www.drtraycehansen.com/Pages/writings_notinthebest.html

    “….existing research on children reared by homosexuals is not only scientifically flawed and extremely limited but SOME OF IT actually indicates that those children are at increased risk for a variety of negative outcomes…To date, very little research exists that assesses long-term outcomes for homosexually parented children. According to Charlotte Patterson, a self-proclaimed, pro-same-sex-marriage researcher, there are only two longitudinal studies of children raised by lesbians. And no long-term studies of children raised by homosexual men. A professional organization dedicated to the welfare of its patients cannot and should not support drastic change in social policy based on just two, small and non-representative longitudinal studies.”

  39. Kevin S.
    August 16th, 2011 at 08:35 | #39

    bman :

    KevinS:…..let’s be honest here, straight people don’t need government prodding to keep on making babies.

    Straight people who have babies need prodding to get/stay married.

    Well then, it’s a good thing y’all are doing yeoman’s work to prevent the government from banning hetero marriages… wait, you mean that letting gay people get married will have absolutely no effect on whether straight people get married?

    Also, John, please explain how gay couples becoming parents have denied children the opportunity to have both a mother and a father. Are they stealing children from the hospital before the biological parents can take them home? Are they somehow preventing straight parents from adopting the tens of thousands of children consigned to foster care every year?

  40. Regan DuCasse
    August 16th, 2011 at 08:40 | #40

    @John Noe
    You’ve gotten intelligent replies. You choose to ignore them. And your comments are difficult to answer because they are profoundly UNINTELLIGENT unto themselves.
    And the contradictions in terms, are a disingenuous way of making an intelligent discourse impossible.
    For example: you’re very quick to deny comparing homosexuality with heterosexuality as a sexual orientation category. Neither of which for either, is a means of judging character, morals or intelligence.

    But you’re quick to compare homosexuality to a BAD HABIT, some of which are evidenced by substance addiction and the organic CELLULAR response of either altering mood and competence or resulting in health consequences. Which can equally affect someone whether gay or not.

    And your indictment of ALL gay people as greedy, selfish, and only concerned with their sexual lusts and not with the needs of children, is patently something that’s an individual issue that’s equal among people gay or not.
    So to say such a thing as if heterosexuals are NEVER bad for children or have them for the wrong reasons and never abuse or neglect them, is an obvious lie.

    And to assume and say that there is no such thing as a loving, caring and unselfish gay person is also an obvious lie. The government benefits that come with marriage are to enable SELF RELIANCE and optimal care for EACH spouse for EACH OTHER, not just in the event of children. Nobody needs ENCOURAGEMENT to have sex and make babies.
    See what I mean by an unintelligent and redundant statement?

    It’s RAISING the children in a secure and committed, loving home.
    And since gay people ARE doing that, for many thousands if not millions of children, then it’s incumbent upon the government to bestow the benefits of RAISING a child. Which is actually how the welfare state was established.
    But if a couple would RATHER marry, than require welfare or other government services to survive, it’s better that they marry whether gay or not?

    Stating something obvious that doesn’t require any smarts to make it is very different from using your imagination for something more practical, like why harm the children of gay parents because their parents ARE gay?
    Even parents with serious disabilities or health problems don’t have their children punished because they have children.

    So, how about YOU come up with an intelligent answer to this question: what’s the difference between the children of gay parents and straight ones that those children deserve to have it taken out on THEM, because you don’t think their parents are ideal?

    No one knows WHAT kind of people will be ideal parents based on gender and sexual orientation alone.
    Assumptions aren’t evidence and never is. It’s not even an intelligent assumption that competent parenting is bestowed on groups. Because it isn’t.

  41. Regan DuCasse
    August 16th, 2011 at 09:49 | #41

    There are two stories in the news of children being horribly murdered by one parent to get at the other. How many are there of either children being abducted or alienated from the other parent, or outright murdered?
    And sometimes an entire family killed over custody?

    How many children are murdered as newborns, left in the trash or a field to die alone?
    And how many GAY parents are responsible for such atrocities?

    When it’s all said and done, heterosexuality or gender is NO guarantee or assessment that means the parent will be a good one, let alone ideal or worthy of having children at all.
    These are worst case scenarios.
    But children are born into poverty, filth or some other kind of less than ideal situation because their parents were selfish, greedy for welfare checks or some other support or because nobody cared what situation would negatively affect the child the most.

    Having a gay parent is hardly the worst thing that could happen to a child. If not an outright good thing.
    A good parent is good as evidenced by the care the child actually gets, not by the sexual orientation or gender of the parent.
    THAT is factual, reality and again, taking out your ire at gay people’s children is LOW. It’s disgraceful to separate THEIR children for legal and social support. And that IS as disgraceful as separating the children of mixed color or disabled parents for the same reason.
    Apparently there IS a value judgement you can place on children. And if those children aren’t members of your approved tribe, then they are fair game for the same ridicule you’ll heap on their parents, regardless of how well cared for those children are anyway.
    That’s the worst kind of prejudice, and yes…absolutely disgraceful.

  42. August 16th, 2011 at 11:13 | #42

    @John Noe: “Having homosexual male couples is even worse. They are always off and having sex with multiple partners rather than being the parent the child needs.”

    Oh lord. And you know this…how?

    I’d like to ask you this question: How many times have you sat down to dinner with a same-sex couple in their own home? 50? 10? 0?

    Actually, I’d like to ask this of all opponents of marriage equality who are such experts on what same-sex relationships are like?

  43. bman
    August 16th, 2011 at 14:12 | #43

    Kevin S: Well then, it’s a good thing y’all are doing yeoman’s work to prevent the government from banning hetero marriages… wait, you mean that letting gay people get married will have absolutely no effect on whether straight people get married?

    You are making an unsupported claim with no substantive argument.

  44. Kevin S.
    August 16th, 2011 at 14:43 | #44

    Wait… what?! Please, PLEASE, point out to me how gay people getting married stops straight people from getting married. I would love to hear how my claim is unsupported. What’s not substantive about my argument? Do you even understand what the words you use mean?

  45. GTD
    August 16th, 2011 at 14:56 | #45

    @John Noe

    I’ve been in a same-sex relationship with the same man for 12 years (married for 3) and we have two children, 4 & 6. I’ve never had sex with multiple partners; I’m too busy taking care of the kids and volunteering at school, preschool, t-ball, gymnastics, etc. They have plenty of women in their lives, including a grandmother, three aunts, several cousins, their Sunday School teachers and the mothers in our playgroup.
    You’re welcome to come over for dinner and see how they’re doing any night except Thursday. That’s when our church has choir practice.

  46. Anna
    August 16th, 2011 at 15:35 | #46

    “They have plenty of women in their lives, including a grandmother, three aunts, several cousins, their Sunday School teachers and the mothers in our playgroup.”

    GTD, do your children have any contact with their biological mother?

  47. bman
    August 16th, 2011 at 15:45 | #47

    Kevin S: Please, PLEASE, point out to me how gay people getting married stops straight people from getting married.

    You made a claim that said: “…letting gay people get married will have absolutely no effect on whether straight people get married…”

    Where was your proof for that claim? I did not see any. As far as I can tell it was not accompanied with any proof. All you have is that claim hanging in mid air by itself, as it were.

    As for your “how” question, that does not prove your claim either. I’d be glad to answer it, though, after you supply proof for your above claim or admit you do not have any.

    I would love to hear how my claim is unsupported. What’s not substantive about my argument? Do you even understand what the words you use mean?

    I explained it above.

    It seems, however, you do not not know the difference between making a claim and providing substantive argument.

  48. August 16th, 2011 at 15:49 | #48

    @Sean
    Sean, this blog has talked many times about the harms to children from divorce, and from multi-partner fertility. Maggie and I both wrote books pointing out the harms of out of wedlock childbearing and of divorce and remarriage. You guys just don’t seem as interested in commenting on that material.

  49. Spunky
    August 16th, 2011 at 16:19 | #49

    @bman: You need to be careful with that article. The author doesn’t go into detail about what “risky behavior” means. The author does cite other evil activities and beliefs, such as “sexual confusion [whatever that means], and engag[ing] in homosexual and bisexual behavior themselves.” But there is nothing bad about this. It’s just different. Also, other studies suggest there is no reason to think gay parents will raise gay children. The author then goes on to cite other studies that suggest that “those children who later engage in non-heterosexual behavior, extensive research reveals they are more likely to suffer from psychiatric disorders, abuse alcohol and drugs, (10) attempt suicide, (11) experience domestic violence and sexual assault, (12) and are at increased risk for chronic diseases, AIDS, and shortened life spans,” but they’re not the SAME children. They’re just gay children in general who have been harassed and bullied for being gay. In fact, Meezan and Rauch state in their paper (http://futureofchildren.org/futureofchildren/publications/docs/15_02_06.pdf) that “the evidence provides a great deal of information about the particular families and children studied, and the children now number more than a thousand. They are doing about as well as children normally do.” By the way, this Meezan and Rauch paper was used by Colin Minnery, an opponent of the Respect for Marriage law.

    In short, that article you cite is completely misleading in most ways and incorrect in that it claims gay children raised by gay parents are more likely to engage in destructive behavior.

  50. Sean
    August 16th, 2011 at 16:36 | #50

    What do you want people to say, Dr. Morse? That it’s ok to recognize the harms of divorce and remarriage, but not the harms of denying access to marriage for the children of same-sex couples? I don’t get how people who are “experts” on the benefits of marriage can then turn around and say, “but gay people, and their children, can’t have those benefits!”

    That’s a huge moral concern, isn’t it?

  51. John Noe
    August 16th, 2011 at 21:32 | #51

    KevinS said:

    let’s be honest here, straight people don’t need government prodding to keep on making babies.

    He misses the whole point about why the government is involved in the marriage business. Unlike me, he did not bother to do any research of why the state grants marriage licenses and besows benefits on it. Had he bothered to do his research he would have found that the government does not give out licenses because straight people do not need government prodding to keep on making babies but that the government was in effect rewarding straight people by making babies. The marriage license is a priviledge and not a right. The benefits granted by the government are priviledges and not a right. The 1000+ benefits were in fact incentives given by the government to straight people to make babies.

    What KevinS fails most to ignore if the government felt the way he does, that straight people do not need prodding to make babies then the government would not be in the marriage business in the first place and granting the procreation incentives and benefits to them to making babies.

  52. John Noe
    August 16th, 2011 at 21:54 | #52

    KevinS said:

    Also, John, please explain how gay couples becoming parents have denied children the opportunity to have both a mother and a father. Are they stealing children from the hospital before the biological parents can take them home?

    This is a very easy explanation. Someone has an adoption agency for exmple the Catholic Charities who put children up for adoption. In the best interests of the child they demand that all adoptive parents regardless of sexual orientation must provide a mother and a father to the child. They do this because they are for children’s rights to have a Mom and a Dad.
    But then the selfish, greedy, self centered homosexuals who only care about their sexual lusts takes them to court and uses the power of the government to force them to allow the same sex couple to adopt and deny the child the mother and father they deserve. As an insult to injury in Massachusetts their were parents who put their child up for adoption but still loved the child enough that they wanted their child to have a mother and a father. But again the greedy, selfish homosexual activists demanded that they must fork over the child to them. The wishes of the parents putting the child up for adoption are denied and in the case of Massachusetts the used the power of the law to force these parents to do this.
    Of course in all cases the children had no say in this. The children are never asked if they would like a mother and father. Since the government put the needs of selfish, greedy, and self centered sexual desires of adults above the needs of children, then the kids had no say. The adoptive child has no say if he or she wants a mother and a father. They are forced to go to these same sex couples whether they like it or not.
    Still another way is when lesbians go down to sperm banks and have them implanted into their utereses. Those children are deliberately denied a mother and father. However you are right about one thing, it was not necessary to go to the hospital and steal somebodys child.

  53. Leo
    August 17th, 2011 at 09:04 | #53

    Gay people can and do have children in heterosexual unions and can have those benefits. No state poses an orientation test prior to issuing a marriage license. No state declares a heterosexual marriage null and void if one partner declares he is gay. No state tests for the presence of the gay gene. This is the obvious way for the hypothesized gay gene to be passed from generation to generation, is it not? Same sex couples do not produce children. I will leave it to Sean to answer if he considers it moral for gays to enter into heterosexual marriage and if it is moral for the parents and beneficial to their children to remain in those marriages.

    What Sean wants to do is create a system whereby children are placed by the state in a situation where they are legally denied either a father or a mother and when it is likely that they are being placed in a situation contrary to their hypothesized genetic nature. That is a huge moral concern.

    The Supreme Court described “the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony; the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization; the best guarantee of that reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement.” That is quite a statement on morality from the source Sean supposedly looks to for moral guidance.

  54. Regan DuCasse
    August 17th, 2011 at 09:44 | #54

    I’ve already pointed out that children are CHILDREN. Why create a difference in optimal support for a child whose parents WANT them and ARE caring for them?
    Why punish the children who have gay parents? Regardless that their parents aren’t your definition of ideal, NO parent truly is.

    This ‘deprivation’ meme is getting old. Many children are being raised by people other than their biological mom and dad. Doesn’t mean who IS raising them isn’t doing a great job because it’s not the mom and dad.
    The reality is that children need BACK UPS, in case there is a failure somewhere.

    You’re willing to harm the children of gay parents through discrimination and depriving them of the security of marriage, much more than anything actually having their parents can do.
    Ever think of THAT?
    So if deprivation was your concern about these children, why are you depriving them and their parents of being able to secure them through marriage?

    Well?

  55. GTD
    August 17th, 2011 at 12:03 | #55

    @Anna

    Yes, but they don’t know she’s their biological mother at this point. That’s by her choice and we respect her decision. We’ll tell them when they’re older and if/when they show a need to know.

  56. Anna
    August 17th, 2011 at 16:37 | #56

    Thanks, GTD for your response.
    A few seconds after I hit the submit button, I was sorry I asked you such a personal question. It was none of my business and you could have told me so.
    I have definite opinions about ssm and third party reproduction but I try and avoid taking it to a personal level.

    But since you answered :-) I will say that I feel better knowing you are open to your children knowing their mother.

  57. Sean
    August 17th, 2011 at 17:03 | #57

    “No state poses an orientation test prior to issuing a marriage license.”

    That’s false. Requiring that a couple be different-sexed is tantamount to requiring that they be straight. The correlation between a couple’s gender composition and the sexual orientation of its members is quite strong.

    It’s like banning left-hand golf clubs: it’s not impossible for a left-handed person to use right-handed clubs, but it presents an unfair and unnecessary impediment. Or making religious people worship on Sundays only: great for Christians, not so great for Jews.

    The use of surrogates to impose hardship on minorities, especially historically disliked ones, is frowned on by the law.

  58. Leo
    August 17th, 2011 at 18:53 | #58

    How do gay parents get children? The most common way may by a one spouse divorcing his or her spouse of the opposite sex and living with a new (same sex) partner while keeping the children of the original marriage. That divorce was their choice, and their refusal to find another mate of the opposite sex is their choice as well. Why should society have to validate those choices?

    Another way is by adoption, if the state allows such. Whether they should or not is another discussion.

    Either way, the situation is the choice of the adults, a choice they made knowing it would not be considered a marriage under federal law and under most state laws.

    In either case, the children have been denied either a father or a mother, and at least one biological parent has been excluded from the new marriage. What about the rights of the excluded parent?

    Why should these parents get benefits that are denied to single parents without a partner? It seems to me that single parents are in even greater need of benefits.

    If all children need is love, then those children already supposedly have that, regardless of having a piece of paper. If they need a mother and a father, then they are denied that. If they need financial security, then parents without partners generally need that even more. Why discriminate against them? There are a lot more single parents than gay parents. Their needs are generally greater. And their children are CHILDREN.

    In any event, it is rational for the state to encourage the ideal while tolerating or supporting as a different level that which deviates from the ideal.

    The family consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman in the state of marriage is the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization and the best guarantee of that morality which is the source of all beneficent social progress.

  59. bman
    August 17th, 2011 at 19:19 | #59

    @Spunky

    Spunky: You need to be careful with that article. The author doesn’t go into detail about what “risky behavior” means.

    Details may be limited because Dr.Trayce Hansenspecifically mentioned that research on the subject has been inadequate. Here, again, is the excerpt:

    ….existing research on children reared by homosexuals is not only scientifically flawed and extremely limited but some of it actually indicates that those children are at increased risk for a variety of negative outcomes…

    Indeed, even the article you cited confirmed that point repeatedly.

    Here are a some excerpts from your article:

    “What the research does not yet show is whether the children studied are typical of the general population of children raised by gay and lesbian couples…”

    “Absent probability samples, generalizing findings is impossible,”

    “…the smaller the number of subjects in the groups studied, the harder it is to detect differences between those groups.”

    “Many studies mix family forms in both their homosexual and heterosexual groups, blurring the meaning of the comparison being made…For example…children who live both in and outside the home are discussed as a single group; children born into homes that originated both as heterosexual marriages and as lesbian households are included in the same
    sample…” [and so even children raised initially in heterosexual environments are being categorized as raised by gays]

    “Few studies collect data from the children directly, and even fewer observe the children’s behavior—the gold standard for research of this kind…[instead they ask...] parents and children to evaluate themselves.” [very little scientific observation involved, just a lot of self reporting which is not reliable standard]

    “…gay fathers (about whom less is known)…”

    My post was a reply to Priya Lynn’s claim that, “decades of research have shown children of same sex couples do just as well, if not better than children of heterosexual couples..”

    In other words, there is such a general lack of information in same sex parenting research one needs to approach gay parenting claims with a great deal of caution.

    Also, per Dr.Trayce Hansen, there is no longitudinal research on two gay males as parents.

    According to Charlotte Patterson, a self-proclaimed, pro-same-sex-marriage researcher, there are only two longitudinal studies of children raised by lesbians. And no long-term studies of children raised by homosexual men. A
    professional organization dedicated to the welfare of its patients cannot and should not support drastic change in social policy based on just two, small and non-representative longitudinal studies.

    Is it even credible to claim, “decades of research have shown children of same sex couple did just as well,” when “no long-term studies of children raised by homosexual men” exist?

    It appears half of the research necessary has not even been done!

    Gays, therefore, need to be especially careful in how they portray the research.

    As your own article stated, “What the research does not yet show is whether the children studied are typical of the general population of children raised by gay and lesbian couples…”

  60. Sean
    August 18th, 2011 at 12:17 | #60

    I don’t understand why gay parents are being judged as categorically unfit, while different-sex parents are often unfit, too. If the goal is to weed out unfit parents, let’s do so but let’s include all possible combinations of parents!

    If parental fitness relates to same-sex marriage, I don’t see it. Same-sex parenting is legal in all 50 states, as is different-sex parenting.

  61. GTD
    August 18th, 2011 at 18:16 | #61

    @Anna
    But she isn’t their mother. A mother is more than an egg donor or a womb and to say that’s all that’s required to be a mother belittles women everywhere.

    A mother is a person who dedicates her life to loving and caring for a child, whether she’s biological or adopting. Our egg donor/surrogate isn’t their mother and doesn’t want to be their mother.

    Instead our children have two fathers who dedicate their lives to loving and caring for them. I’m a stay-at-home dad. I do everything a mother would do for our children. Only the gender is different. We have the help and support of several women, just as a mother/father team has the help and support of friends and relatives. Our daughter doesn’t lack for feminine role models and she has 1/1 time with her grandmother, aunts, cousins, etc. So does our son, for that matter.

    We are good parents and we work very hard at it; why would you say that someone who had a child because they didn’t bother with birth control would automatically be a better parent that someone who has sacrificed to become one, who doesn’t take his children for granted or wish he’d never had them?

    Why is a mother on crack who neglects her children with a constant series of men considered a better parent than two totally monogamous guys who are always there for their kids?

    Gender doesn’t determine who is or isn’t a good parent or whether kids will thrive in a home. Being wanted, needed and loved is much more important to children than whether they call that person ‘mommy’, ‘daddy’, ‘nana’, ‘grandpa’ or whatever.

    I’m there when my kids get up in the morning and when they go to bed at night. When they do something great, when they do something not so great, in sickness and health (and I’m definitely poorer; kids are expensive!).

    And there are so many gay men who are foster fathers for kids whose ‘loving mothers and fathers’ abandoned them. Gay men take in kids that nobody else wants and the kids thrive under their care. How can you say they’re unfit parents because of their gender? How can you say they’re worse than the parents who dumped the kids in the first place? It doesn’t make sense to me.

  62. Spunky
    August 18th, 2011 at 22:06 | #62

    @bman Actually, the paper I cited gives no indication of any children of parents being at risk of anything. I have no idea what Dr. Hansen is talking about because again, she doesn’t elaborate. The article I cite specifically references 4 (recent) studies as “the gold standard” of research regarding gay parenting. Of course they’re not all-encompassing, but they’re most definitely meaningful. Are 4 top-of-the-line studies that all came to the same conclusion not enough for you? Judith Stacey cites the 22 best studies she reviewed and came up with the 1,000 children raised by gay parents (who again, “are doing about as well as children their age generally do” in the long term). This was mostly covered in my first post, but I guess I needed to write it again.

    Additionally, while no long-term studies of children of gay men have been done, the existing research on male gay parents finds no different in their parenting ability nor in the outcome of their children (Meezan and Rauch also say this in their paper). But the data still suggest a conclusion, and no data suggest anything else.

    No one will admit (or should admit) that the existing research about gay parenting is flawless, or that it proves anything (no statistical study can ever do that). If you prefer we say things like “decades of research suggests that children raised by gay parents turn out no worse,” or “there is not a single reliable study that shows any negative difference in any way for children raised by gay parents compared to their peers,” then I agree. However, it’s important to recognize the power of these statements.

    Research in social psychology often produces mixed results, even when a general consensus is reached. If we assume for the moment that gay parents and straight parents are in fact not different at all, we should still expect some studies to suggest gay parents do worse (what proportion depends on their significance level). Yet to this day, there continues to be practically no evidence to suggest that children raised by gay parents do worse in any way than other kids. How much more research do you need until you accept the results? If you take nothing away from the current body of work, then you’re never going to draw any conclusions from any study.

    You are correct that the research on LGBT parenting isn’t as complete as we’d like it to be. My point in Post #1 was that you should use a more credible article like Meezan and Rauch’s rather than Dr. Hansen’s, which only looks for negatives (and was misleading at best and incorrect at worst). My point in this post is that despite its shortcomings, the research still tells us a ton about gay parenting and a decent amount about their children’s development.

  63. bman
    August 20th, 2011 at 18:24 | #63

    Spunky: Actually, the paper I cited gives no indication of any children of parents being at risk of anything. I have no idea what Dr. Hansen is talking about because again, she doesn’t elaborate.

    I intended the excerpts from your article to establish the lack of adequate research, not “being at risk.”

    Even so, your article alluded to the risk of negative outcomes being suppressed where it said,

    Critics have accused researchers of downplaying differences between children of gay and straight parents, especially if those differences could be interpreted unfavorably—a charge that has been debated in the field.11 We will not enter that debate here, beyond noting that the best defense against bias is always to judge each study, whatever its author’s motivation, critically and on its merits.

    In note 11 it then states,

    Judith Stacey and Timothy J. Biblarz examine twenty-one studies and find that “researchers frequently downplay findings indicating difference regarding children’s gender and sexual preferences and behavior.” Judith Stacey and Timothy Biblarz, “(How) Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter?” American Sociological Review 66 (April 2001): 159–83. Golombok and others reply that it is Stacey and Biblarz who “have overemphasized the differences that have been reported between children with lesbian and heterosexual
    parents.” Susan Golombok and others, “Children with Lesbian Parents: A Community Study,” Developmental Psychology 39, no. 1 (January 2003): 21.

    Stacey and Biblarz are both gay rights advocates who found that researchers on gay parenting had downplayed findings that pointed to increased homosexual tendencies in children raised by gays.

    While your opinion is “so what,” most would think its better for children to be raised in an environment where they were less likely to develop homosexual tendencies, for the child’s own sake.

    A key point Dr. Hansen makes is:

    It shouldn’t be surprising that studies find children reared by homosexuals are more likely to engage in homosexual behavior themselves since extensive worldwide research reveals homosexuality is primarily environmentally induced.

    Dr. Trayce Hansen, by the way, referred to the same Stacey and Biblarz study that your article placed in the footnotes. She also has links to other articles in the left panel of that article that would provide more detail on the issue.

  64. bman
    August 20th, 2011 at 19:05 | #64

    Spunky: Of course they’re not all-encompassing, but they’re most definitely meaningful. Are 4 top-of-the-line studies that all came to the same conclusion not enough for you?

    The authors of your article said, “What the research does not yet show is whether the children studied are typical of the general population of children raised by gay and lesbian couples…”

    That seems to be the bottom line.

  65. Spunky
    August 22nd, 2011 at 16:49 | #65

    I don’t disagree with your bottom line. I brought this all up to make a couple of points:

    1) I wanted you to cite objective papers (like the one I provided), rather than biased articles with clear misconceptions and a clear anti-gay motive like Dr. Hansen’s. So I appreciate your citing the paper by Dr’s Rauch and Meezan. I wish more people with your views would do this.

    2) You make a correct point that gay rights supporters need to be careful of the way they portray the research. But anti-gay rights supporters need to be even more careful. The research actually does show a lot (as cited in the Rauch/Meezan paper), such as the way gay parents raise their children, and how well the children who have been examined are doing compared to other kids. Furthermore, just about every study has come to the same conclusion. Anti-gay activists can discuss the flaws in each study, but in the end they need to ask themselves why practically all the conclusions are the same.

    3) Studies downplay a child’s sexual orientation, but only because they are concerned with determining the mental health of a child. There is no reason to think gender identity and same-sex attraction cause any sort of unhealthy behavior (see the APA’s website for studies, particularly the section “Is homosexuality a mental illness or emotional problem?”).

    In short, your main point is correct, but you should be careful when discussing the studies as well.

  66. bman
    August 23rd, 2011 at 04:08 | #66

    Spunky: Anti-gay activists can discuss the flaws in each study, but in the end they need to ask themselves why practically all the conclusions are the same.

    That has been asked and answered. Its not only flawed research but its carefully censored to screen out unfavorable results, as well.

    Dr. Cummings, former president of the APA has given us an insider view. He essentially said the psychological community safeguards what is researched and what is reported, “….they know what the outcome is going to be…only research with predictably favorable outcomes is permissible.”

    Here, are excerpts from an interview he did:

    Q: You have been critical of the psychological community for its part in distorting research on sexual orientation. Can you describe why you are critical of the APA?

    Dr. C: First, let me say that I have been a lifelong champion of civil rights, including lesbian and gay rights. I appointed as president (1979) the APA’s first Task Force on Lesbian and Gay Issues, which eventually became an APA division. In that era the issue was a person’s right to choose a gay life style, whereas now an individual’s choice not to be gay is called into question because the leadership of the APA seems to have concluded that all homosexuality is hard-wired and same-sex attraction is unchangeable.

    My experience has demonstrated that there are as many different kinds of homosexuals as there are heterosexuals. Relegating all same sex-attraction as an unchangeable–an oppressed group akin to African-Americans and other minorities–distorts reality. And past attempts to make sexual reorientation therapy “unethical” violates patient choice and makes the APA the de facto determiner of therapeutic goals.

    Q: What is your basic premise of the book Destructive Trends in Mental Health: The Well-Intentioned Path to Harm?

    Dr. C: The APA has permitted political correctness to triumph over science, clinical knowledge and professional integrity. The public can no longer trust organized psychology to speak from evidence rather than from what it regards to be politically correct.

    Q: What must be done to correct the situation?

    Dr. C: At the present time the governance of the APA is vested in an elitist group of 200 psychologists who rotate themselves in a kind of “musical chairs” throughout all the various offices, boards, committees, and the Council of Representatives. The vast majority of the 100,000 members are essentially disenfranchised. At the 2006 APA Convention in New Orleans I gave a speech, “Psychology and the APA Need Reform,” which was widely circulated on psychology listserves but has been totally ignored by the leadership of APA. It is not going to reform itself out of office!

    The full interview is available at http://www.narth.com/docs/cummings.html

    Also keep in mind the meta-research (a research of the research) by Stacy and Biblarz found that 21 years of research hid what could be unfavorable results.

    Rhe article Science Games Activists Play also provides analysis on why gay parenting research lacks credibility.

    Some excerpts:

    …it is well-known, activist homosexuals and lesbians devote their lives to their Great Ideal: scientifically establishing the normality of their orientation.”

    “….unvalidated, quick-and-easy (and mostly ad hoc) questionnaires, oral or self-administered…”

    ” [lack of] collecting systematic, long-term, everyday-life observations by experienced independent observers, and of in-depth exploration (in a series of interviews) taken by impartial professionals who know what to ask…”

    “A second hole is the way risk behavior has been assessed. The youngsters had to tell it themselves. How dependable are such answers of boys and girls with an openly lesbian mother who knows that her family situation is being examined? Children of that age are most likely to pull the shutters down when confronted with direct questions related to the painful subject of their private circumstances. Still less valid is the assessment of the quality of the mother-child relationship taking the mothers’ words as measure.”

    “…lesbian mothers, as anyone knows who has some experience here, are defensive and full of rationalizations for their choices. Apart from that, they often do not really see and understand the needs of their children. Parents who are driven by the desire to prove a sociological point see the world as revolving around that cause–not the real needs and true feelings of their children.”

    “[its not unusual that]…a lesbian woman has not come to maturity, due to unresolved gender ambiguities, so that some of them are hardly aware of the emotional confusion and other sufferings her gay partnership will cause her children…[when they answer research questions]”

    “The 44 lesbian mothers are volunteers, a selective group that is no doubt eager to show how normally their households are functioning.”

  67. Anne
    August 23rd, 2011 at 12:49 | #67

    @bman

    What a great post bman.

    So revealing and more than a little frightening. As I posted on another thread….It certainly does seem that the inmates are taking over the asylum.

  68. Spunky
    August 23rd, 2011 at 15:50 | #68

    @bman This is all excellent to know. Thank you so much for bringing it to my attention. However, both sources you cite don’t answer my question. I perused NARTH’s summary of Cummings’ book and found no mention of any suppressed studies about gay parents. The only comment he has on these studies appears at the bottom of the website http://www.narth.com/docs/destructive.html

    But we knew that already, as Meezan and Rauch’s paper said exactly the same thing, only in a less negative way. Again, homosexual behavior of a child is interesting, but not relevant, to a that child’s mental health. In short, there is no reason to think any of these studies were biased or manipulated in any way.

    As for Dr. Gerard van den Aardweg’s post, most of what he writes is just opinion, not fact. It’s also completely ridiculous. I agree with his points that questionnaires may not be the most reliable way of collecting data, and that volunteers will probably not give an unbiased sample, but how else is someone supposed to conduct a study? Are researchers supposed to search through a child’s room to find any drugs? Maybe shadow him for 5 months and monitor his every movement? Studies have questionnaires all the time, and generally kids are more honest with researchers than with their parents. Maybe they could have used more in-depth techniques as he suggests, but maybe they couldn’t. It doesn’t make the study worthless, it’s just something to keep in mind.

    His other points about lesbians are so ridiculous that I’m not even going to argue them. His post shows that HE is the biased and unreliable source, not the study he cites.

    I’ve researched Dr. Cummings and he seems to be a legitimate (though obviously not unbiased) source. I have no issues with what he said. Again though, he didn’t say anything specific to any studies on gay parenting that we didn’t already know. Dr. Gerard van den Aardweg, on the other hand, is as far from credible as you can get. He has nothing good to say about homosexuality or even gay people! He hates gay people! Check out his Wikipedia page (warning: Google translated from Dutch):
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerard_J._M._van_den_Aardweg

    He is absolutely insane, but more to the point, his article was mostly an expression of anger, not objective (or meaningful) scientific criticism. I don’t know why someone as smart and thorough as you wasted your time reading his article.

  69. bman
    August 24th, 2011 at 13:07 | #69

    Spunky: …I perused NARTH’s summary of Cummings’ book and found no mention of any suppressed studies about gay parents…I have no issues with what he said. Again though, he didn’t say anything specific to any studies on gay parenting that we didn’t already know.

    I think its correct he did not specifically mention any gay parenting studies.

    However, given his statement that, “…the public can no longer trust organized psychology to speak from evidence rather than from what it regards to be politically correct” and “..only research with predictably favorable outcomes is permissible…” one would think organized psychology conducts itself no differently for gay parenting research.

    But we knew that already, as Meezan and Rauch’s paper said exactly the same thing, only in a less negative way. Again, homosexual behavior of a child is interesting, but not relevant, to a that child’s mental health. In short, there is no reason to think any of these studies were biased or manipulated in any way.

    First, the idea that, “homosexual behavior of a child is not relevant to a child’s mental health” is not a scientific fact. Its a rationalization. In effect, your suggestion indicates research reaching the public is filtered through a rationalization process that amounts to, “this behavior looks maladaptive to most, but since it looks quite healthy to me I am reporting it as simply healthy behavior.”

    Second, the researchers who suppressed their findings had to know the information could be used to support an unfavorable conclusion even if they personally viewed it irrelevant. This strongly indicates they had to be acting upon a deliberate motivation to advance their private ideology. With such motivation having been acted upon in one area, it presupposes that all areas of the research were affected, without proof otherwise.

    Third, as a matter of science, organized psychology has a duty to report findings and conduct research that could falsify their official view, but so far it hasn’t done that. Until it starts doing robust research that could falsify such suppositions the “research” cannot be viewed as true science, but as propaganda.

    Fourth, if research showed children were more likely to develop homosexuality when parented by gays, it would be very relevant to a child’s mental health. If all other variables were equal, it would be better for the mental health of orphaned children to be placed in an environment where they were less likely to develop homosexuality and more likely to develop heterosexuality. To be spared a life of homosexuality would make a huge difference in the mental health and well being of a child.

    Fifth, if any researcher seriously thinks it would make no difference to a child’s mental health whether the child developed homosexuality or heterosexuality for life, that researcher should be presumed incompetent.

    Thus, your suggestion that “they” did not regard it as relevant seems weak at best. There were several relevant issues related to a finding of increased homosexuality. The suppression of that information suggests strongly that gay parenting research fits Dr. Cummings statement, the public can no longer trust organized psychology to speak from evidence rather than from what it regards to be politically correct.

    As for Dr. Gerard van den Aardweg’s post, most of what he writes is just opinion, not fact. It’s also completely ridiculous … His other points about lesbians are so ridiculous that I’m not even going to argue them. His post shows that HE is the biased and unreliable source, not the study he cites.

    Of course, your statement itself can be viewed as “just opinion, not fact” since you gave no evidence that would support your claim.

    I agree with his points that questionnaires may not be the most reliable way of collecting data, and that volunteers will probably not give an unbiased sample, but how else is someone supposed to conduct a study?…Maybe they could have used more in-depth techniques as he suggests, but maybe they couldn’t. It doesn’t make the study worthless, it’s just something to keep in mind.

    Once we realize a strongly biased sample exists combined with a strongly biased researcher, with no methodology to isolate fact from bias, and relevant information is being suppressed when its unfavorable, what do you say “the worth” of a such a study is?

  70. Spunky
    August 24th, 2011 at 19:49 | #70

    I’ve already discussed homosexuality and mental health, so it looks like we’re going to have to disagree on your points one through five (all of them, completely).

    I’ve also discussed the significance of the uniform conclusions of research despite biased samples and small sample size. I’ve even given you analyses from experts themselves who believe in this significance.

    Finally, I don’t want to devote any more analysis to Dr. van den Aardweg’s ramblings. If you truly think he’s a legitimate source of knowledge and credibility about homosexuality and that his article was in any way enlightening, then we’re on a different page.

    It’s been fun and enlightening, bman, but I’ve said all I needed to say, so I’m done discussing this.

  71. bman
    August 24th, 2011 at 22:34 | #71

    It’s been fun and enlightening, bman, but I’ve said all I needed to say, so I’m done discussing this.

    OK, on that Spunky. I appreciate how you kept on track and presented your case in a rational manner. Your method of dialog is definitely in a higher class than other gay activists here.

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