Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Pediatric Group Opposes Marriage Ban

The largest group of pediatricians in the country, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), has released a report that concludes children of same-sex parents do better when their parent's relationship is legally recognized by the state.

While same-sex couples are just as capable as heterosexual parents of raising children, the AAP found that treating same-sex couples differently -- both socially and legally -- can have harmful repercussions for the children of those relationships.

The 55,000-member group asserted the following in its report (emphasis mine):

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Gay and lesbian people have been raising children for many years and will continue to do so in the future; the issue is whether these children will be raised by parents who have the rights, benefits, and protections of civil marriage. ...

There is ample evidence to show that children raised by same-gender parents fare as well as those raised by heterosexual parents. More than 25 years of research have documented that there is no relationship between parents' sexual orientation and any measure of a child's emotional, psychosocial, and behavioral adjustment. These data have demonstrated no risk to children as a result of growing up in a family with 1 or more gay parents. Conscientious and nurturing adults, whether they are men or women, heterosexual or homosexual, can be excellent parents. The rights, benefits, and protections of civil marriage can further strengthen these families.

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Wisconsin is one of a handful of states that currently allows same-sex adoption (by one of the parents only).

This fall Wisconsinites will get choose whether to maintain their support for those families and the thousands of children raised in them by voting on a constitutional amendment that proposes the exact type of discrimination the AAP deounces in its report.

Voting "No" on the amendment this November is voting to keep all Wisconsin families strong.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Todd said...

That's great news about the AAP, which again is putting the welfare of children first and basing their policies on solid social science.

Unfortunately, a 1994 Wisconsin Supreme Court decision determined that only one parent in a same-sex couple can legally adopt a child. The case is In the Interest of Angel Lace M., 516 N.W.2d 678 (Wis. 1994).

July 05, 2006  
Blogger Seth Zlotocha said...

Thanks for your comment, Todd.

I should've been more clear in my post about only one parent being allowed to adopt from a same-sex couple in Wisconsin -- thanks for clarifying it here. I'll make a notation of it in the post.

July 05, 2006  
Blogger proletariat said...

Since a lot of the discrimination happens by AAP members I'm happy they are concerned about this issue.

I find myself at odds with both conservatives and liberals on this one. I'm anti-marriage period (winning platform). A stable couple should be able to adopt period. I am not sure what the relevance of marriage is to this anyway.

What I hear the AAP saying is marriage is a normalizing insitution but if we broaden its scope it will be normalizing for less people. Does that make any frickin sense? I don't think if gay couples got married that would decrease their normalizing.

What gets missed out of discussions like this is some gay and straight couples do not get married. What about the rights, benefits, and protections for them.

I think this amendment is complete insanity. Its logic, I recently discovered is embedded in the natural law of some holy book. Human stability and rule of law are dependent on marriage. I have never been married and my children are relatively stable for teenagers, and I follow most laws without question (I even wait for walk when no cars are present). But, I must be an outliner.

July 07, 2006  
Blogger Seth Zlotocha said...

Nate,

I think the benefits of marriage promoted by the AAP have to do with the practical economic benefits and the more intangible social acceptance that comes with marriage. I suppose that's normalizing in a sense, but no one is arguing to force same-sex couples (or heterosexual couples, for that matter) into marriage, but rather just allow them access to the institution if they choose.

July 07, 2006  
Blogger proletariat said...

Seth,

You miss the point. Why should certain rights only be given to those that marry. Adoption is a case in point, if you have two loving, stable adults what difference does marriage make.

Are you telling me with a straight face that a child of two gay parents will not face 'social consequences' because their married. That's insane.

What should be the main thing is equal protection under the law period. That I can get my teeth around. But supporting silly politics of recognition by liberals and conservatives alike clutters the political landscape.

My point was if we have these rights (adoption, visitation, custody etc) that only reside in the insitution of marriage, in the end its still discriminatory. I would much rather have the focus be on protecting the equal protections of all americans, than the current silliness we are engaged in.

So, would having freedom of speech or press only in the city of Madison make sense to you. If you wanted that freedom you could always move to Madison right. That's the logic I see at work here.

For clarification, marriage is a religious insitution to my way of thinking. I see it squarely as a religious / state issue which gets those conservatives quite upset. I am in no way referring to the 'legal contract' two couples commit to. I also do not see that contract (sort of like the flag thing) as automatically creating greater stability, societal acceptance, or better child rearing (another american myth). Marriage ought to be a personal issue between a couple and their church.

July 07, 2006  
Blogger Seth Zlotocha said...

Nate,

I suppose if I was in the position of founding a nation, I would probably take a position close to the one you're taking here. But, since that's not the case, I'm not in agreement with you that abolishing marriage as a civil institution is the only fair answer.

Marriage has a deep history in this country, like it or not. Simply pushing marriage away as a religious institution (which, in this country, it's not -- without state sanctioning, a marriage is not legally valid anywhere in the US) is handing the institution, and all of the history and tradition that comes with it, over to conservatives to define however they see fit. If Dems go that route, they lose -- big time.

But maintaining a hold on marriage isn't only a good eletoral strategy, it also is the best way to reform the institution. Liberals have the ability to infuse progressive ideas and beliefs into marriage, but this can only be done by accepting it.

Certainly we should work toward expanding equal rights to all couples, married or not, but that task doesn't need to be exclusive of marriage reform.

July 10, 2006  

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