At Atticus Circle, one of our priorities is fighting for the family rights of LGBT people, including their right to have and raise children. Public dialogue regarding marriage equality tends to ignore the fact that many LGBT couples already have children, and that the lack of equal rights for LGBT parents leads to direct discrimination for their children as well. Furthermore, we live in a culture where LGBT parents are discouraged from having children at all. At least six states currently ban adoptions by gays and lesbians.
Why is this? What do people fear will result from gay parenting? There are many who believe that LGBT families will somehow result in sexually confused children, that gay parents will “make” their children gay. Some believe that children will have a natural desire for one mom and one dad; their flawed logic leading them to ban LGBT adoption of children so that said children do not suffer. And then there’s the ubiquitous, and extremely untrue, argument that LGBT parents are more likely to sexually abuse their children than straight parents. All of these arguments are backed by flawed logic, not reality, and are simply smokescreens to allow active discrimination against LGBT families. The CNN web site has come out with a great article, here, regarding the children of LGBT parents, a few of whom are now beginning to speak out about their experiences and are also seeking each other out.
First of all, LGBT parents do not somehow “turn” their children gay any more than straight parents can make their children straight. The American Psychological Association confirms that many studies show “most kids of same-sex households describe themselves as heterosexual in roughly the same proportion as conventional families.” Will children naturally desire parents of both sexes, and will it harm them if they don’t have that? No and no. Not according to the people raised by LGBT parents in the above article. It’s our culture that’s the problem, not nature. There are many healthy, well-adjusted children of single-parent households who prove we don’t necessarily need a father and mother to be well loved and cared for. LGBT parents are equally capable of providing the love and stability that children need as straight parents are, or as single parents are.
It is important that we fight these many ugly untruths by speaking out and letting people get to know us. These now-grown children are doing it, and we must do it as well. If you are an ally who knows a family headed by LGBT parents and you hear others spouting these kinds of arguments, speak out. If you are the child of LGBT parents, you can share your experiences with others. Once people see our families, it will become harder to contradict the love that is so obviously before them.