Two peers in the House of Lords noted research which finds that children raised by gay couples “do better” than children raised by opposite sex couples.

During the nine hours of debate on the first day of Report stage for the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, Labour peer Lord Winston, the doctor and television presenter, and Baroness Stowell of Beeston, the Conservative peer with responsibility to take the same-sex marriage bill through the House of Lords, both made the observation.

Lord Winston noted a Cambridge study which found “incontrovertible” evidence that children “do better” when raised by gay couples, during the debate.

He said: “Is the noble Lord aware of the research on children who are being raised by people who are gay—either lesbian or male homosexual? There is now a large and incontrovertible body of research evidence—particularly from Professor Golombok of the University of Cambridge—which shows that on average such children do better than children who are born in the normal way of current marriage.”

Shortly afterwards, speaking later during the debate, Baroness Stowell also made reference to the study, and other similar, which have found the same.

“I should say to the noble Earl and to all noble Lords that there is clear evidence that the children of same-sex couples do very well indeed. Research shows that they do better than children of opposite-sex couples,” she said.

During an earlier stage of the passage of the equal marriage bill for England and Wales, Tory peer Baroness O’Cathain caused controversy by claiming the opposite. 

She said: “The evidence from social science is now emphatic that children do best when raised by their married mother and father. I mention just one example: a paper from the Institute for Fiscal Studies observes that, even by the age of three, there are ‘significant differences’ in outcomes between children born to married parents and those born outside marriage.”

Despite a statement from the Institute to say that her claims were unfounded in the study, Baroness O’Cathain declined to retract her statement when approached by PinkNews.

Also during yesterday’s debate, Baroness Stowell rather comically, and for the second time, used her fictional marriage to actor George Clooney, in order to explain to the House the difference between adultery and unacceptable behaviour.