Minnesota: Gay parenting study becomes focal point of anti equality campaign
An anti marriage equality group have used a recent study, which compared the mental health of adults raised by same-sex and opposite-sex couples, and suggested children of the former have more problems in their adult life, to push for equal marriage bans ahead of November’s election.
The population-based survey, written by Professor Mark Regnerus, was published in July’s Social Science Research, and was the largest of its kind, the University of Texas said, to feature children with gay parents in such a broad, probability-sampled population.
The organisation, Minnesota for Marriage, which is funded by the National Organisation of Marriage, an anti marriage equality group set up to push Proposition 8, released a video last week which cited the research.
Kalley Yanta, who presents the video, calls the study by Professor Regnerus as “important new research”.
“There are very significant, highly negative outcome differences between those raised by a same-sex parent and those raised by their married parents,” she said, reported by Salon.com.
“On 25 of the 40 outcomes, young adults raised in a family structure that included a same-sex parent are worse off than those raised in an intact family with married parents.”
In the video, Minnesota for Marriage makes claims that Professor Regnerus’ study disproves any prior research cited by equal marriage advocates, and that suggestions that there are “no differences”, in outcomes for children of opposite-sex vs. same-sex, are now false.
“It is troubling that gay marriage activists have been attempting to redefine marriage using the now discredited claim that there are no differences for children raised by same-sex parents,” She continued,
“The evidence shows that there are many major highly negative differences.”
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Even those opposed to equal marriage have reportedly questioned the report, however, suggesting that it only investigates those raised by same-sex couples who originally came from divorces or separations, and only two of some 2,000 involved in the study were children of same-sex couples who stayed together throughout their childhood.
Critics have accused Minnesota for Marriage of omitting certain details of the study, in order to use it to their advantage.
Professor Regnerus came under heavy criticism for the report, and was accused of “falsifying” the results, and of deviating from “ethical standards”. He was also criticised because the report was funded by the Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation, both conservative groups with links to the National Organisation for Marriage.
The University of Texas, however, made a statement defending the report which suggested that children born to parents who had a gay relationship have more problems in adult life than those born to married, straight parents.
Regnerus also made a statement after publication saying that he believed same-sex couples could be just as capable of raising children than opposite-sex ones.