Those who oppose gay rights spend a lot of time worrying about how being raised by same-sex parents will damage kids. A new study found that children of homosexual parents are more likely to face hardships, but mainly because the law still discriminates against their families, not because same-sex couples are inherently incapable of raising a child. Shocking, right?
The report by several gay rights groups, including the Movement Advancement Project, Family Equality Council and Center for American Progress, found that children of gay parents are just as healthy and well-adjusted as those raised by heterosexual parents. The study estimates that there are 2 million children being raised by same-sex parents, and they live in 96% of U.S. counties. However, families with homosexual parents are more likely to live in poverty, and they face other unique situations that can add stress to their lives.
Since the federal government doesn't recognize gay unions, same-sex parents pay more in taxes, have higher health insurance costs, and aren't allowed to participate in many government programs for families. Plus, since in some states don't allow gay adoptions, one parent may not have any legal ties to the child they raise. That means that parents can lose custody or visitation rights, and don't have the ability to make health decisions for their child.
When faced with these facts, groups that oppose gay rights had an interesting reaction. Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage told Reuters that the best way to protect kids is to pass federal legislation against gay marriage, because allowing only marriage between one man and one woman ensures kids will be raised by a mother and a father. So according to Gallagher, we can prevent discrimination against children of same-sex parents by getting rid of same-sex parents. Or, you know, we could just change the laws to be more inclusive of all families and have everyone agree to stop behaving like bigoted asshats.