June 19, 2012
By Matt Baume
A new study tries to show that the kids of gay and lesbian parents are worse off than the kids of straight parents. We’ll take a look at all of the problems with that study, and there’s a lot of them. Montana Democrats endorse marriage equality, while Montana Republicans call for throwing gay couples in jail. But now a major GOP donor is throwing his support — and his money — to a drive to elect more LGBT-friendly Republicans.
Following President Obama’s lead, there’s growing consensus within the Democratic party for supporting marriage equality. This week party leaders in two conservative states — Texas and Montana — confirmed their support for marriage. Texas Democrats will send a record number of LGBT delegates to the convention in September.
There’s growing Republican support for the freedom to marry as well. Paul Singer is a prominent Republican donor and a major supporter marriage equality projects like AFER’s Prop 8 case. He’s announced a new political action committee to elect GOP candidates who support marriage equality. Singer has pledged one million dollars to start what he’s calling the “American Unity PAC.”
But not every Republican has taken notice of the 13 national polls that show a majority of Americans support marriage equality. This week ten Republican Senators and two former attorneys general filed briefs in support of DOMA, the federal ban on marriage recognition. And in Montana, where the Democratic delegates recently endorsed marriage equality, the Republican party platform still calls for imprisoning gays and lesbians.
The 2012 legislative session has ended in Rhode Island, with no vote on bills to legalize marriage. Rhode Island currently has civil unions, but very few couples have expressed an interest in the severely watered-down protections that civil unions offer. Meanwhile, across the country, officials in Washington have confirmed that the state’s marriage equality bill will be on the ballot this November.
A new study out last week purports to show that the children of LGBT parents suffer when compared to the kids of straight parents. But the study is so riddled with problems that it actually doesn’t show anything of the sort. The study was funded by two major anti-gay organizations: The Witherspoon Institute and The Bradley Foundation. It also doesn’t really compare stable gay parents to stable straight parents. Instead, it lumps all kinds of unstable relationships into the “gay parent” category. They only examined parenting that occurred decades ago, before parents could even hope to be married. And the study didn’t consider the length of relationships. That’s a big deal, because when you look at the data, you see that only 2 percent of respondents reported having lived with a gay father for longer than 3 years.
The editor of the journal that published the study says that the raw data may be released this fall. At that point, independent researchers will be able examine the findings more closely. In the mean time, a wide range of organizations have issued statements in support of LGBT parenting. That includes the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, Child Welfare League of America, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, The American Psychiatric Association, North American Council on Adoptable Children, Canadian Psychological Association, and the Australian Psychological Society, among others.
And finally, an anniversary. Forty-five years ago last week, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Loving versus Virginia, overturning state laws that prohibited interracial marriage. Years later, Mildred Loving herself stated, “I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving [the case], and loving [each other], are all about.”