Friday, September 25, 2009

Child Welfare Groups in Maine Say Marriage Equality Is Good for Kids

The ol' "What about the children?!" screaming from the wing nuts is finally being answered. This is how marriage equality will affect children.
Child Welfare Advocates from Across Maine Endorse Marriage Equality
Leaders Urge No Vote on Question 1

Portland, Maine (Thursday September 24, 2009) – Statewide organizations with a solid commitment to improving the lives of children and their families today endorsed the NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality campaign. Supporting organizations include Maine Children’s Alliance, Maine Psychological Association, National Association of Social Workers Maine Chapter, Community Counseling Center and Kids First Center.

The American Psychological Association, after carefully reviewing years of research on parenting and child outcomes, concludes that “(t)here is no scientific evidence that parenting effectiveness is related to parental sexual orientation.” In summation, the Association found “that adjustment, development and psychological well-being of children is unrelated to parental sexual orientation and that the children of lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those of heterosexual parents to flourish.”

According to Dr. David Lilly, president-elect of the Maine Psychological Association, social scientists have long understood that marriage as a cultural institution can have a profound effect on the lives of married people, connecting them socially and ordering their lives.

“Allowing same-sex couples to join in marriage can enhance their legal and emotional security, and can benefit the children being raised by gay and lesbian couples,” said Dr. Lilly. “Children benefit not only from strong emotional bonds with both parents, but also from the stability and assurance stable legal bonds provide.”

Catherine Stakeman, Executive Director of the National Association of Social Workers Maine Chapter reiterated these findings saying, “The vast experiences of social work, and the scholarship of our discipline, tell us that children thrive when raised by families who are loving and caring, regardless of the structure of that family unit.”

The Maine Children’s Alliance, a nationally respected voice for all Maine children, strongly supports ending discrimination in marriage. According to Ellie Goldberg, Executive Vice President, the Maine Children’s Alliance has worked to improve the lives of children in the state since 1994.

“We believe that an evidence-based approach to public policy will lead to the best outcomes for the children and families of Maine. We know that marriage equality is public policy that will improve the well being of Maine kids because it is supported by scientific evidence. If we accept marriage as a social good for children, in that it gives them emotional and financial security and confidence in the strength of their family bond, how can we possibly deny this protection to the children of gay parents,” said Ms. Goldberg.

“These are very powerful endorsements, clearly reinforcing the fact that civil marriage brings with it benefits and responsibilities that provide significant protections to gay and lesbian couples and to their children,” said NO on 1 campaign manager, Jesse Connolly.

Previously, the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) endorsed marriage equality. So it appears it's good for them physically and mentally.

Go figure!

Oh, and to further solidify that gay and lesbian parents are as good as raising kids as their heterosexual counterparts, the American Psychological Association just published groundbreaking research by Dr. Abbie E. Goldberg's titled Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children: Research on the Family Life Cycle, the first full-length analysis of the research on gay parenting.

A release from the APA states:
Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children: Research on the Family Life Cycle provides a comprehensive overview of the research on same-sex parenthood, exploring ways in which lesbian and gay parents resist, accommodate, and transform fundamental notions of gender, parenting, and family. The book takes a family life cycle approach, beginning with research on how same-sex couples meet and build healthy relationships, then describing how and why same-sex couples decide to have children and how they grapple with the changing roles each partner must adopt. Their experiences raising children through young adulthood are explored, including the challenges of interacting with their children's schools and teachers. In the end, the book considers the perspectives of the children themselves—as young adults and adults speak out about their experiences having lesbian or gay parents.

Read more about the research here.

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