Respected Reader, my goal in writing these articles is to inspire, educate, and stimulate thinking about topics that hopefully lead to greater understanding and connection within yourself and with others. Sexual orientation and lifestyle of the LGBTQ community are not well understood and accepted by many based on either ignorance or a belief system that condemns.
Personally speaking, I have had my eyes opened about this issue by my clinical experience and research. Before that I was living in a naïve “bubble” based on distorted Christian beliefs and a “macho boy” culture that made snide jokes about gays. I will never forget a 50-year-old gay man in 1987 saying to me with tears in his eyes, “John, who would choose to be gay.” He had lived many years being the subject of insults and discrimination.
Sexual orientation is a biological reality, not a choice. Unfortunately, there are those who do not understand this and continue to live a life of prejudicial thinking and acting.
Deanna Linville, Ph.D. and Maya O’Neil, MS, have done extensive research on the subject of same-sex parents and their children. Their studies noted that there are approximately 594,000 same sex partner households in the U.S, according to the 2000 census. Children are living in approximately 27 percent of those households. Later census data surely will show more. It is difficult to obtain an accurate count of same sex parent families because many lesbians and gay men are not open about their sexual orientation due to fears of discrimination, such as loss of employment, loss of child custody, and anti-gay violence. Although most children of same sex couples area biological children of one of the parents, a growing number are the result of donor insemination, surrogacy, foster care and adoption.
Most research studies show that children with two moms or two dads fare just as well as children with heterosexual parents. An example is one that concluded that children raised by lesbian mothers or gay fathers did not differ from other children in terms of emotional functioning, sexual orientation, stigmatization, gender role behavior, behavioral adjustment, gender identity, learning, and grade point averages.
A Cornell University study found 79 research efforts in this area and concluded that in 75 of the studies no significant difference was found between children raised by same sex couples and those by heterosexual couples.
Members of the LGBTQ are increasingly visible and vocal as to their aspirations. While some of the personifications and demonstrations of their rights may be offensive to some, it should not take away from the fact that we are all “children of God” and deserving of the opportunity for full expression of their capacities — including parenting.
Hopefully, Respected Reader, none of the above is new to you and you do not have a prejudiced bone in your body. For those of you not in agreement, I would ask that you continue to question your beliefs, where they come from, and do the research necessary to know the facts. You deserve that!