July 26th, 2006
Glenn Stanton, of Focus on the Family, finally got around to responding to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ report on why same-sex marriage is important to children of gay and lesbian couples. (I reviewed that article here.) Unfortunately, he seems to have missed the entire point of the report:
“This report essentially says that research shows that gay and lesbian parents can be as loving and caring as heterosexual parents,” he said. “That is not the same as saying that children who grow up in homes in two-female or two-male adult homes do as well as kids who live with their mother and father in important outcome measures.”
The AAP is skirting some very important issues, he said. For example, the study claims “there are more similarities than differences in parenting styles and attitudes of gay and non-gay fathers.”
While sexual orientation does not seem to affect whether parents prefer their kids to eat healthy snacks, get plenty of exercise, read books, limit television viewing and be kind to their friends, Stanton said there are other important factors the study tries to play down or simply ignores.
Those who try to work with this line of reasoning miss a very important point, the very point that prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics to commission the report in the first place. Gay and lesbian couples are parents. They have always been parents, and they will always be parents. There is simply nothing anybody can do which will ever change that. Like it or not, these children exist, they are growing up, and they will soon become adults themselves. This report is focused on their needs and how best to address them:
This analysis explores the unique and complex challenges that same-gender couples and their children face as a result of public policy that excludes them from civil marriage. In compiling this report it became clear to the contributing committees and section that the depth and breadth of these challenges are largely unknown to the general public and perhaps even to many pediatricians. As such, the AAP Board of Directors approved the broad dissemination of this analysis to assist pediatricians with addressing the complex issues related to same-gender couples and their children.
That’s why they wrote the report: To inform everyone what those challenges are, and why marriage is so important:
In all its work, the AAP is committed to calling attention to the inextricable link between the health and well-being of all children, the support and encouragement of all parents, and the protection of strong family relationships. This analysis was prepared to bring to light the legal, financial, and psychosocial ramifications of recent and proposed public-policy initiatives affecting same-gender parents and their children.
Civil marriage is a legal status that promotes healthy families by conferring a powerful set of rights, benefits, and protections that cannot be obtained by other means. Civil marriage can help foster financial and legal security, psychosocial stability, and an augmented sense of societal acceptance and support. Legal recognition of a spouse can increase the ability of adult couples to provide and care for one another and fosters a nurturing and secure environment for their children. Children who are raised by civilly married parents benefit from the legal status granted to their parents.
You can’t find a stronger endorsement of family values than that.
So, given the very real existence of these children in gay- and lesbian-led families, what exactly would Focus on the Family suggest we do to remove the many roadblocks that these parents face every day so they can provide the best care for their children? We know that Focus on the Family would like gays and lesbians to go away — that’s why they promote and finance ex-gay ministries. Do they have something in mind to make their kids go away too?
What does Focus propose for the children who are already being raised by gays and lesbian couples now and in the future? Don’t these children count? Was Glenn Stanton’s boss really serious when he backed extremely limited domestic partnership benefits in Colorado? James Dobson sure seems to have lost his voice since then. Maybe he took too much heat from fellow conservatives.
Or maybe Focus on the Family can only focus on one kind of family?
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.