Same-Sex Parents, Furred and Feathered.

There have been an increasing number of research studies which show that as parents,  same sex couples are at least as good as opposite sex- couples. As a gay father and grandfather myself, I don’t really need to be told this by modern research: I first learnt of the evidence decades ago, from a family friend who was then a child welfare social worker, and is today a top authority on the subject. I also have the best of all possible authority, the experience of my own family. My daughter is very clear on the subject: she is on record as saying “Gay Parents? I recommend them”. She has told me that when she says a young child with two dads, her immediate response is – “Lucky child”. Still, it’s good to see the evidence getting a more public hearing. and reaching the mainstream.

I was interested though, to find that in this, as in so many other areas, of human sexuality, the same pattern is found in many species of animals and birds.

Two Dads, with Kids

Homosexuality in animals has been known since ancient times, but still fails to penetrate the public consciousness. Read the rest of this entry »

The Social Value of Gay Marriage

The standard pseudo-religious argument against same-sex marriage is that “conventional” marriage between a man and a woman offers value to society that same sex marriage does not. Quite the most impressive counter to that argument, written by a straight woman, is “Why Gay Marriage is Good For Everyone” which I found at “Casaubon’s Book “on Science Blogs.

In Wisconsin last week, a court ruled that a lesbian mother who had been a stay-at-home mom to raise two adopted children with her partner, had no status as parent because only the other mother could be recognised in law as an adoptive parent. (“In Wisconsin, Not All Parents Are Equal“). It is to find ways around complicated legal difficulties such as these that so many queer families are forced into complex, sometimes imaginative, legal solutions of their own.

Introducing her piece, Casaubon writes about two Washington men who fell in love during WWII, and finally wed after a “62 -year engagement”. (“Wow, What A Long Engagement That Was“)But this is not just a cosy, feel-good romantic tale – although it is that, too. Along the way, as these two men aged after decades sharing their lives, they realized that in the absence of  the legal protections offered by marriage, they would need a plan of their own – so they settled on adoption!

When Henry was 69, he legally adopted Bob, who was 70. It gave them legal protections, offered an advantageous inheritance tax rate and made the pair into a family. Read the rest of this entry »

Children and Marriage Equality*

This post has moved to my new domain at http://queering-the-church.com/blog

Lesbians Make Better Parents: Times Online

This will not surprise many  of my readers, or others in the reality-based community (borrowing Pam Spaulding’s phrase), but lesbians make better parents.  The evidence from research has shown this for years, and is now accepted wisdom among professionals in the field.  Here in the UK, the authoritative social attitudes survey has found that a third of British adults now agree that same sex couples  make “at least” as good parents as other couples – to say noting of the comparison with single parents, or with no parents at all.

This all makes intuitive sense: lesbian couples by the very nature of things are most unlikely to have unplanned pregnancies and unwanted children.  Lesbian parenting is generally a carefully thought through, deliberate decision.  The parents themselves will have had to negotiate the difficult process of coming out, which is often a psychological growth experience, and will have had to deal with prejudice, possible discrimination and sometimes outright hostility in their own lives – and have learnt to deal with it. It is to be expected, as research confirms, that

“children brought up by female couples are more aspirational and more confident in championing social justice. They show no more tendencies towards homosexuality than the offspring of heterosexual parents.”

All of this by now should be old hat, hardly worth a second glance. So why do I repeat and promote the story below, from Times Online?

Because too many of the power elite in the Catholic Church and their unthinking claque of supporters, have yet to join the reality based community.  They consistently ignore their own teaching that theology must pay attention to the findings of science and scholarship, and instead condemn even their own experts who state what is widely accepted by professionals, and would rather blackmail civic authorities than countenance the possibility of placing an adoptive child with same sex parents, no matter how sparkling their personal qualities or potential as parents.

 

450px-New_York_City_Proposition_8_Protest_outside_LDS_temple
Protesting child outside LDS Temple after Prop 8, 2008

 

As long as the bishops insist on placing church ideology (it does not even qualify as sound theology) over the welfare of children, we must continue to publicise the findings of research and experts, aiming to build the sound theology, based on science together with faith and reason, that the establishment is singularly failing to do. Read the rest of this entry »

Some Gay New Fathers *

Following on writing recently “In Praise of Family”, I’d like to draw to your attention a profile piece in today’s Observer. Here in the UK, we are fortunate that the law prohibits discrimination against same sex couples or individuals in the adoption process, so all are equally free to apply.

Gay Couple with child

Image via Wikipedia

More and more children are being adopted by same-sex couples. In the past two years the number of gay men approved to adopt has doubled. Here we listen to some of their stories.

And that is that – just the stories, as told by the new parents ( and one couple still going through the approval and matching process.) The article makes no attempt to analyse or comment on the stories, but a few things stand out for me.   Read the rest of this entry »