Tuesday, January 17, 2012

RC Bishops try to make secular argument against marriage equality

 There is a real chance that marriage equality will be passed legislatively in Washington state and signed by a supportive governor.

 So of course, the Roman Catholic bishops are desperately trying to stop it. Of course, they are hindered by the fact that most of their flock support recognition of gay relationships.

 Meanwhile, as reported in Pam's House Blend, the bishops are making their argument thusly:
 …the definition of marriage is related to bringing children into the world and the continuation of the human race. The legislation to redefine marriage, therefore, is not in the public interest. 
 Yes, because if gay people marry, straight people will throw up their hands in disgust, and stop having children. The argument is ridiculous on the face.

 Moreover, the bishops ignore that the lack of marriage hurts the children of gay parents. The PHB columnist goes on to note that 41% of births in this country are to unmarried women. So the way to promote marriage and families is….to deny marriage?

  WRites one columnist in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
 The best advice, which Catholic bishops in Washington and elsewhere should heed, came recently from Nicholas Cafardi, formerly legal counsel to the Diocese of Pittsburgh and formerly a board member of the bishops' National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Youth: 
"We need to give it up. This is not defeatism. This is simply following Jesus in the Gospels, who besides telling us not to act on our fears, also told us to render to Caesar what it Caesar's and to God what is God's. Civil marriage is Caesar's."
Cross posted from Gay Married Californian


dr.primrose said...

Some research now shows Why Gay Parents May Be the Best Parents:

"Gay parents 'tend to be more motivated, more committed than heterosexual parents on average, because they chose to be parents,' said Abbie Goldberg, a psychologist at Clark University in Massachusetts who researches gay and lesbian parenting. Gays and lesbians rarely become parents by accident, compared with an almost 50 percent accidental pregnancy rate among heterosexuals, Goldberg said. 'That translates to greater commitment on average and more involvement.'

"And while research indicates that kids of gay parents show few differences in achievement, mental health, social functioning and other measures, these kids may have the advantage of open-mindedness, tolerance and role models for equitable relationships, according to some research. Not only that, but gays and lesbians are likely to provide homes for difficult-to-place children in the foster system, studies show.


"[R]esearch suggests that gays and lesbians are more likely than heterosexuals to adopt older, special-needs and minority children, he said. Part of that could be their own preferences, and part could be because of discrimination by adoption agencies that puts more difficult children with what caseworkers see as 'less desirable' parents.


"Research has shown that the kids of same-sex couples — both adopted and biological kids — fare no worse than the kids of straight couples on mental health, social functioning, school performance and a variety of other life-success measures.

In a 2010 review of virtually every study on gay parenting, New York University sociologist Judith Stacey and University of Southern California sociologist Tim Biblarz found no differences between children raised in homes with two heterosexual parents and children raised with lesbian parents.

"'There's no doubt whatsoever from the research that children with two lesbian parents are growing up to be just as well-adjusted and successful as children with a male and a female parent,' Stacey told LiveScience.

"There is very little research on the children of gay men, so Stacey and Biblarz couldn't draw conclusions on those families. But Stacey suspects that gay men 'will be the best parents on average,' she said.

That's a speculation, she said, but if lesbian parents have to really plan to have a child, it's even harder for gay men. Those who decide to do it are thus likely to be extremely committed, Stacey said. Gay men may also experience fewer parenting conflicts, she added. Most lesbians use donor sperm to have a child, so one mother is biological and the other is not, which could create conflict because one mother may feel closer to the kid.

"'With gay men, you don't have that factor,' she said. 'Neither of them gets pregnant, neither of them breast-feeds, so you don't have that asymmetry built into the relationship.'

"The bottom line, Stacey said, is that people who say children need both a father and a mother in the home are misrepresenting the research, most of which compares children of single parents to children of married couples. Two good parents are better than one good parent, Stacey said, but one good parent is better than two bad parents. And gender seems to make no difference. While you do find broad differences between how men and women parent on average, she said, there is much more diversity within the genders than between them."

Even if you may disagree with some of the findings at the edge of the study, the whole article is well worth reading.

JCF said...

Yeah, gay parents have, um, planned parenthood, which is good for children. Who knew? ;-/

it's margaret said...

…the definition of marriage is related to bringing children into the world...

So, I guess Joel and I aren't married either.... dang, thirty years of nothing.

Feh on the RC Bishops....

Paul said...

I have been waiting for some time for a coherent secular argument against gay marriage.

After reading this, I am still waiting.

At very least, it is a hopeful sign that this group acknowledges the need for one.