Are Kids of Gay Parents Better Off With Mom & Imprisoned Dad?

Karen and Rick Santorum via Getty ImagesRepublican presidential candidate Rick Santorum pontificated pre-primary in New Hampshire about the evils of gay marriage and even worse, gay parenthood. Santorum quoted an unnamed ‘anti-poverty expert’ (let’s hope it’s not George Rekers) who allegedly claims that children are better off having a parent in prison who has abandoned them than having two same-sex parents.

This assertion came as crushing news to three of the children in his boarding school audience who had gay parents.The LA Times reported then:

Allowing gays to marry and raise children, Santorum said, amounts to “robbing children of something they need, they deserve, they have a right to. You may rationalize that that isn’t true, but in your own life and in your own heart, you know it’s true.”

Rick Santorum’s views on gay marriage are well known, post his 2003 interview with the Associated Press in which the Republican candidate for president described gay marriage as no different from “man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be.”

While we wait for Santorum to cough up his sources for a ‘research position’ undocumented to professionals who track research studies on homosexuals, the Washington Post refers us to a study published in this month’s Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

Quality of Life of Adolescents Raised From Birth by Lesbian Mothers,” is part of a long-term study of American lesbian families called the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study, which is supported by The Williams Institute at UCLA Law, a research center specializing in sexual orientation law and public policy.

This study had a completely different conclusion than Santorum’s unnamed research guru.

In 2006, the LA Times concluded that there was no research that confirmed any negatives to the children of gay parents, while also stressing that the research field is still young.

In 2001, Judith Stacey and Timothy J. Biblarz, then sociologists at the University of Southern California, published a review of 21 previous studies of the children of homosexual parents (most of them lesbians). Almost uniformly, they wrote, the research found no systematic differences between children reared by a mother and father and those raised by same-sex parents.

The researchers expressed an observation that “The boys may be less aggressive. There’s some indication the girls will have a wider array of career aspirations.” The duo also concluded — not that the children are more likely to become lifestyle choice homosexuals themselves — but that they are inclined to be more experimental sexually.

In 2010, still at New York University, Stacey and her research partner Biblarz at the University of Southern California revisited the research, again finding no differences between children raised in homes with two heterosexual parents and children raised with lesbian parents.

Another professional who disputes Santorum’s negative assertions about gay parents is Ellen C. Perrin, MD, professor of pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston.

The combined data presented by Perrin showed that children whose parents are lesbian have no more problems than the rest of the children and actually may be more tolerant of differences, she says. There was suggestive evidence that there were more stresses due to the gender of same-sex parents, but the children also reported greater well-being, more nurturing, and a greater tolerance for differences.

Huff Po reported this week in an overview article on the topic:

Gay parents “tend to be more motivated, more committed than heterosexual parents on average, because they chose to be parents,” said Abbie Goldberg, a psychologist at Clark University in Massachusetts who researches gay and lesbian parenting. Gays and lesbians rarely become parents by accident, compared with an almost 50 percent accidental pregnancy rate among heterosexuals, Goldberg said. “That translates to greater commitment on average and more involvement.”

One fact that hasn’t gotten much face time is the fact that gays and lesbians are more likely to provide homes for difficult-to-place children in the foster system.

An October 2011 report by Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute found that, of gay and lesbian adoptions at more than 300 agencies, 10 percent of the kids placed were older than 6 — typically a very difficult age to adopt out. About 25 percent were older than 3. Sixty percent of gay and lesbian couples adopted across races, which is important given that minority children in the foster system tend to linger. More than half of the kids adopted by gays and lesbians had special needs.

Gays and lesbians are especially accepting of open adoptions, where the child retains some contact with his or her birth parents. Statistics confirm that birth parents often have no problem with their kids being raised by same-sex couples.

In expressing his views, Rick Santorum does echo the views of Pope Benedict who said on Jan. 9 that gay marriage is a threat “to the future of humanity itself.”

Supporters of the court cases that overturned Florida’s ban on gays adopting children. The Advocate delivered a blistering op-ed piece to Karen Santorum today entitled Mrs. Santorum, Can We Talk?

On Monday, Mrs Santorum defended her husband’s position against same-sex marriage, saying he is being unfairly targeted.

“I think it is very sad what the gay activists have done out there. They vilify him, and it is so wrong,” Karen Santorum said at a South Carolina forum. “Rick does not hate anyone. He loves them. What he has simply said is marriage shouldn’t happen.”

The Advocate responds:

Karen, we need to talk. And by that, I mean that I need to talk and you need to listen.

You love your husband — I get that. You love your faith — fine by me. But when you pretend that hate is love, that lies are truth, and that victims are oppressors, you have become inane.

Your husband believes that LGBT people cannot be trusted to serve in the military, raise children, form stable relationships or be fully respected under the law. According to you, Rick may love us, but honey, his love is killing us, and we want nothing to do with this abusive relationship. Our community has endured expulsion from family, mass firings, daily epitaphs, assaults, harassment, humiliation, death, and suicides. We know that if your husband becomes president of our country our long suffering will only deepen and magnify.

So yes, we are calling him what he is: a sanctimonious bigot who believes that we are dangerous, sick, and evil. We are telling the truth about his vision and his beliefs about us. That is NOT bullying, it’s about saving our own lives. Your husband would erase the landmark and life-saving changes we have seen over the past few years, and revisit the hell of a government that does not see us as fully human. Given what so many of my brothers and sisters live through daily, you calling us bullies is contemptible.

It did not have to be this way. Many people of faith truly and authentically do love the LGBT people in their lives. They also love fairness and equality and inclusion. They do not live in fear of those who are different. My mom was such a person, and I am sure you could have been too.

In some ways, it’s very sad. In another two or three months, the cameras will be gone, and the press will not care about you or Rick. The march of justice will continue, leaving you and your family a forgotten footnote on the wrong side of history.

I’m glad we talked, Karen. I feel better now. While I know you will keep saying whatever that reprobate PR firm is telling you to say, at least we understand each other.

You and Rick are the haters. My community is the victim, and anyone paying attention knows the truth.

Wealthy GOP Donors Support Gay Marriage

(l) Daniel S Loeb of Third Point by Phil McCarten/Reuters; (c) Clifford S. Asness of AQR Capital Management by Jonathan Fickles/Bloomberg News; and (r) Steven A. Cohen of SAC Capital Advisers by Rhonda Churchill/Bloomberg NewsSignificant numbers of conservative financiers and wealthy donors to the Republican Party supported the drive to legalizing same-sex marriage in New York. The squawk boxes screamed the Republican legislators had been bought off my liberals, but this May 13, 2011 New York Times article presents a very different view. 

The bulk of the funding for same sex marriage in New York came from wealthy Republicans wrote the Times.

Besides the men above, Paul E Singer, a hedge fund manager and top-tier Republican donor and NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg financed New Yorkers United for Marriage.

Now that the four Republicans who supported same-sex marriage in New York are under assault, gay advocates from Wall Street to Hollywood are supporting their re-elections writes yesterday’s NYT.

“It was essential to send a clear signal around the country that we will support those who support equality, irrespective of party,” said Brian Ellner, a senior strategist for the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group. “We were able to win marriage in New York with a bipartisan coalition of fair-minded elected officials. We need to replicate that if we are to keep winning.”

Bottom line, on the campaign trail, we only hear Republican anti-talk about homosexuality and same sex marriage coming from the social conservative Republican candidates.  In the real world of Republican-donor financed elections in 2012, the Santorum assertion that kids are better off with a dad in prison than two lesbian moms, will meet an equally demanding voice of more moderate Republicans.