I was both intrigued and annoyed by a New York Times piece this morning about the supposed pressure gay men are feeling to have children. The premise starts off well, but the piece seems to assume that having children is the be all and end all for everyone, gay and straight.
As the 20th anniversary of what my family calls "Adoption Day" came and went this spring, I have been thinking about the promising changes in society's attitudes toward families like ours and relationships like my moms'. The promise of the future, however, is not without some peril.
But many critics have missed one of Regnerus' most unexpected findings, one that may illuminate his study's shortcomings. Specifically, and feeding into pretty much all the other problems, the study diagnoses children of gay parents as having a huge problem with poverty.
I've done my fair share of welcoming strangers into my home, not knowing how they will react when they see our kiss-the-bride wedding portrait hanging on the wall. For all my nervousness, though, none of these encounters had broken badly. And then we met Dick.
What is ultimately at stake in LGBT parenting cases is not the rights of adults but the well-being of children. It should be obvious that legally denying an entire category of children the opportunity to have two legal parents undermines rather than promotes their best interests.
A byproduct of growing up with a closeted gay dad was that men became puzzles to me. What was going on in there? Did I know anything about how they worked? I started to look at all of them as mysteries to be solved, which meant that I often dated withholding men.
As Father's Day approaches, I can't help but find myself thinking about the fathers in my life (I have one father, one stepfather, one father-in-law, and maybe one ex-stepfather out there somewhere), and the fact that my children, as the products of a lesbian family, don't have a dad.
A recently published study purports to show that children of same-sex parents experience a significant degree of negative outcomes. These findings would certainly be surprising -- if they were supported by the evidence.
A cursory look at Regnerus' work tells me that it that needs to be put under a microscope and carefully examined. When one ponders the results, it seems to reveal more about the leanings of the researcher than it does about gay and lesbian parents.
One would think that if you wanted to find out if kids raised by same-sex couples were impacted by their parents' sexual orientation, you would compare those kids to kids raised by opposite-sex couples, right? Well, no.