People wave banners as they demonstrate against France's planned legalization of same-sex marriage in Paris April 17, 2013. (CNS photo/Benoit Tessier, Reuters)
would have us believe the legalization of same-sex marriage and
parenting is a straightforward matter of justice. But not everyone
concurs. In fact, the dissenters constitute a rising chorus of voices
who identify salient myths smuggled into the ostensibly settled opinion.
From one side, the voice of experiential and reasoned testimony from
individuals who either identify as homosexuals and/or have been raised
by same-sex parents. From another, the voice of empirical evidence from social science researchers. This essay sets their cumulative crescendo center stage.
Myth #1: Only heterosexuals and conservative religious persons are opposed to the legalization of same-sex parenting.
an interviewer asked Xavier Bongibault whether his opposition to
France’s same-sex marriage law arose from religious conviction, he
replied: “Absolutely not, I am atheist.” As a homosexual atheist,
Bongibault is against France’s new marriage law for the same reason he’s
critical of LGBT alliances: it’s homophobic. “The idea that a
homosexual must be for homosexual marriage because he’s
homosexual” is ideology right out of the play book of a social
philosophy that insists gays and lesbians cannot reflect politically,
except through sexual instinct.1
it turns out, Bongibault represents the opposition of a sizable segment
of the French non-religious homosexual community who are seldom given
the microphone. Jean-Marc Ayrault who has lived with a man for 20 years,
insists: “The LGBT movement that speaks out in the media . . . doesn’t
speak for me. As a society we should not be encouraging [same-sex
marriage]. It’s not biologically natural.”2
Bunel, a specialist in humanitarian law who’s done relief work in
war-torn areas, was outraged by the French same-sex marriage law. He
admitted to Le Figaro that, after being raised by two women, he
has “suffered from the lack of a father,” from the lack of “a daily
presence, a character and a properly masculine example, some
counterweight to the relationship of my mother to her lover. I lived
that absence of a father, experienced it, as an amputation.”3
adult children of same-sex parents emphasize that their opposition to
gay marriage is shared by a majority of the gay community. Dawn
Stefanowicz, describing Canadian homosexuals, is a good example. She
insists that “the majority never wanted marriage. Never wanted anything
that would have ever been close to heterosexual monogamy. In fact, they
like the freedom of being involved with whomever they want, whenever
they want. That [is] . . . the reality.”4 Some go further. “The majority of homosexuals,” says Bongibault, “mock the minority who are pushing this law.”5 Thus, they help to lay to rest another myth, closely related to the first: namely, that all or at least a majority of gays support the legalization of same-sex marriage and parenting.
Myth #2: Homosexuals have the same right to marriage and parenting as heterosexuals.
2013, French homosexuals joined forces with pro-family activists to
oppose the legalization of gay marriage and parenting in their country.
They replaced the accustomed civil rights meme of French gay activists
(‘marriage/parenting is our civil right’) with one of their own: ‘The
rights of children trump the right to children.’
Bunel was raised by two same-sex adults. His personal admission turns
the tables on the gay civil rights mantra: “If the women who raised me
had been married, I would have jumped into the fray [of political
opposition to France’s 2013 same-sex marriage law] and would have
brought a complaint before the French state and . . . the European Court
of Human Rights for the violation of my right to a mom and a dad.”6
Here’s the way Frenchman Jean-Marc Ayrault attempts to describe the issue to gay rights advocates:
gay activists like to remain in confessional mode, where they explain
to supposedly ignorant non-gay people ‘what it’s like’ to grow up gay.
They can’t remain in that confessional mode when discussing gay
parenting, because almost none of them knows [sic] what it’s like to
grow up as the child of gay parents.7
is best for the child,” Ayrault continues, is also the best guide for
the content of a nation’s marital legislation. “Nobody can deny that
it’s best for a child to have a mother and a father who love each other
as best they can.”
Ayrault approvingly quotes a Homovox8participant
who confesses the same: “Of course I think a child should have a mother
and a father; almost all the gay people I know grew up that way, and it
would be against the principle of equality to deprive some children of
Jonathen Soroff lives in Massachusetts with his male partner, Sam, and insists he and half of his gay friends
[sic] not believe that couples of the same gender should marry. We’re
not going to procreate as a couple and while the desire to demonstrate
commitment might be laudable, the religious traditions that have
accommodated same-sex couples have had to do some fairly major
Bongibault, the atheist French homosexual who contests gay marriage in
France, admits doing so grounded in the legal fact that France is “one
of the only places in the world that links childrearing legally to
marriage.” French marriage, he explains, “is specifically designed to
provide children with families. . . the text of the civil code of
1793the legal basis for all subsequent French marriage laws with the
exception of the same-sex marriage law of 2013states that “marriage is
based on children and families.”11
Philippe Arino goes so far as to argue that, rather than the French same-sex marriage law granting equality to French gays, it’s actually homophobic and against equality of identity.12
“This law encourages homosexual couples to think they can copy and fit
in the way of heterosexual couples. It makes them think they have to
follow the example of man, woman, and child, without respecting sexual
difference.” He also contends a same-sex marriage law is unrealistic and against reason:
“It denies respect to homosexual couples in reality, with regards to
their specificity, who they really are. Gay couples do not exist so that
they can be procreative . . . .”13
Myard, homosexual and author of French documentaries, agrees. “It’s
not, in the first placeor any place for that matterthe issue of‘What
about the freedom and equality of marriage and parenting for gays?’ It’s
a question of, first and foremost, ‘What of the freedom and equality of
a genuine understanding of the two essential meanings of marital love,
Arino maintains: “One must know that one had more than just a biological
[procreative] origin[but] also, that one came from true desire [an act
of unitive love]. And one must know that the two are linked.”15
his review of European case law, Gregor Puppinck exposes the ironic
twist behind pursuit of the liberal orthodoxies of unfettered personal
freedom and equal marriage and parenting rights for the gay community:
According to the new conception, it is the State, which through its hold on society
the family according to the dominant thinking and demands. This change
in perspective demonstrates the modern rerouting of human rights theory:
initially founded upon natural law humanism, it has today become a
privileged instrument of the implementation of liberal individualism
which, by an ironic paradox, reinforces the State’s hold over society in
exchange for the promise of greater freedom for individuals.16
#3: The gay lobby demonstrates a tolerance of views opposing same-sex
marriage comparable to what it demands of the public toward its
Unfortunately, examples of intolerance from
gay activists abound. When Cynthia Nixon “came out of the closet” she
was nearly banned from LGBT circles for announcing she “chose” to start
dating women. Realizing her “mistake,” she retracted her statement out
of fear the gay community would do to her what they did to another
self-declared lesbian: Fly an airplane banner over her home that reads:
“You can‘t pray the gay away!”17
Andrew Pierce, a UK Daily Mail
columnist who has a long history of championing gay rights, was
attackedaccused of being a homophobe and an Uncle Tomfor daring to
speak out against gay marriage.18
past April, Brendan Eich resigned as CEO of Mozilla. Why? Turns out
Eich was pressured to do so from northern California’s liberal
mainstream over his opposition to gay marriage: he donated $1,000 to
Proposition 8 which, if not tossed out by the Courts, would have banned
gay marriage in California.
Then there’s the cancellation of David
and Jason Benham’s house renovation series by HGTV. The reason? It
appears that HGTV was pressured into action by a gay activist
organization, People for the American Way, who reported all over the
internet the day before the cancellation that David Benham had requested
a group of Christians to repent for “tolerating homosexuality and its
agenda that is attacking the nation.”19
What was left out, of course, was the ameliorative context of David’s
statement: an account of the Benhams’ charity toward gays both in word
and deed and their reasonable conviction that the sociological effects
of gay marriage and parenting run counter to the common good.
studying the American Psychological Association’s Brief on same-sex
parenting, Robert (“Bobby”) Oscar Lopez, a self-declared homosexual who
was raised by lesbians, was convinced that many of the foster care and
adoption agencies who signed on to the study’s positive conclusions did
so under pressure from the gay lobby. He advises anyone who proffers
data refuting that of the gay-friendly 2005 APA Brief to get ready to be
fired. Just ask social science researchers Mark Regnerus, Doug Allen,
and Loren Marks and the people who published their respective
Lopez also points out GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against
Defamation) and the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) launch especially
vicious attacks when anyone even dares insinuate a pederastic
undercurrent in the gay communitydespite high profile cases out there
to prove the allegation.21
Even more worrisome to Lopez and Rivka Edelman, both raised by
lesbians, is the fact that even the gay-friendly heterosexual community
is “so cowed right now” that when they “see horrible things going on
between gay parents and their children . . . they won’t report it.” And,
rest assured, “nobody in the gay community is going to turn anybody in”
Myth # (4): Growing up with same-sex parents has no disadvantage over being raised by a mother and a father.
goal of the 2005 American Psychological Association’s Brief, “Lesbian
& Gay Parenting,” was “to evaluate widespread beliefs [about
same-sex parenting] in the light of empirical data and in this way
ameliorate negative effects of unwarranted prejudice.”23
In other words, the study hoped, by collating the data from 59
gay-parenting studies, to disabuse judges, legislators, professionals,
and the public of common fears: first, sexual identity is impaired among
children of lesbian and gay parents; second, kids of homosexual parents
are more prone to mental breakdown, adjustment difficulties, and
behavior problems and, third, children of lesbian and gay parents may
experience difficulties in social relationships. Data that quieted these
concerns, the study reasoned, would help to eliminate negative
outcomes, such as loss of custody, restrictions on visitation,
prohibitions against adoption, and criticism of the same-sex marriage
debate and its shibboleth, marriage equality.
conclusions did appear to deflect many of these fears/negative outcomes:
(1) children of lesbian mothers develop patterns of gender-role
behavior commensurate with that of other children (no data are available
regarding gender-role behavior for children of gay fathers); (2)
children of lesbian or gay parents do not exhibit elevated levels of
homosexuality, nor (3) major deficits in personal development. Hence,
the APA unequivocally concluded that, in their review and collation of
data from 59 gay-parenting studies: “Not a single study has found
children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any
significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents.”24
Family researcher Loren Marks penned a significant response to the APA Brief in a 2012 issue of Social Science Research:
“Same-sex parenting and children’s outcomes: A closer examination of
the American Psychological Association’s brief on lesbian and gay
parenting.”25 Same same-sex parenting researchers, Marks concludes,
to have contended for an ‘exceptionally clear’ verdict of ‘no
difference’ between same and heterosexual parents since 1992. However, a
closer examination leads to the conclusion that strong, generalized
assertions, including those made by the APA, were not empirically
Marks demonstrated how structural flaws in the Brief’s 59
studiessmall, non-representative, convenience samples; exclusion of
minority individuals or families; the failure of 39 studies to include a
heterosexual comparison group; the repeated selection in the remaining
20 studies of single-parent families as the comparison heterosexual
parent group; suppression of data from the 1996 Sarantokos study that
reveal “significant differences” in outcomes between children of
heterosexual married parents and those of same-sex parentscontributed
to significant dilution of the ‘no difference’ claim of the APA Brief.27
In the same 2012 issue of SSR,Mark
Regnerus conducted a homosexual parenting study: “How different are the
adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings
from the New Family Structures Study.”28
He avoided the methodological flaws of the studies reviewed in the APA
Brief. Instead of relying on convenience samples garnering non-random,
non-representative data that cannot be generalized to a general
population or employing as few as 18, 33, or 44 cases of respondents,
all of which simply could not show statistically-significant differences
between the heterosexual and homosexual families, Regnerus
a survey to a large random sample [15,058 persons initially; 2,988
respondents] of American young adults (ages 18-39) who were raised in
different types of family arrangements. In this debut article of the
NFSS, [he] compares how young adult children of a parent who has had a
same-sex romantic relationship [175 adults raised by lesbian mothers and
73 adults raised by gay fathers] fare on 40 different social,
emotional, and relational outcome variables when compared with six other
family-of-origin types [respondent: (1) lived in an intact biological
family with mother and father; (2) was adopted by one or two strangers
at birth or before age 2; (3) lived with biological mother or father
from birth to age 18, but parents are not married currently; (4) lived
with biological parents who were either never married or else divorced;
(5) lived with a single parent who was either never married or else
divorced; (6) lived in other family structure/event combinations, e.g.,
with a deceased parent.29]
the population-representative data generated after interviewing the
nearly 3,000 respondents, the NFSS Study concluded that “children appear
most apt to succeed well as adultson multiple counts and across a
variety of domainswhen they spend their entire childhood with their
married mother and father, and especially when the parents remain
married to the present day.”30 Data revealed lesbian mothers, for example, scored “suboptimally” on all 57 statistically significant bivariate comparisons, including two comparisons with gay fathers.31In
short, the NFSS study revealed that “children raised by gay or lesbian
parents on average are at a significant disadvantage when compared to
children raised by an intact family of their married, biological mother
Regnerus/Marks ‘significant disadvantage’ conclusion springs to life
when it’s considered against the personal, baldly candidand very
tragictestimony of a coterie of adult children brought up by same-sex
parents. The complete English transcripts of the Homovox testimonies
of Dawn Stefanowicz, raised by two gays, Rivka Edelman, raised by two
lesbians, and Bobby Oscar Lopez, also raised by lesbians appear online
at Englishmanif.com. Throughout this four-part series discussion, these
adults candidly testify why and how they were significantly
disadvantaged by their same-sex parenting environment. Here’s a snapshot33 of their discussions:
I don’t agree with the APA saying that there’s no difference for us
when we grow up with parents involved in a same-sex relationship. We’re
impacted long-term. But as children we don’t realize this. It takes us
often until the late 20s, early 30s to realize or start realizing, the
long-term impact. For me, I never felt I belonged. I felt that there was
this prolonged and unresolved grief, sadness, and depression in my
life. And I had two brothers as well. And I saw that each one of us was
very much affected by . . . not just the home environment, it was also
that we were taken regularly into the developing LGBT subcultures
beginning when my twin brother and I were eight years old. We had quite
an extensive background under the LGBT umbrella. Because for us it began
in infancy when my father began bringing different men into the home.
As a little girl growing up, I didn’t feel that my own femininity and
womanhood was being affirmed, and valued, and loved, in that kind of
environment. In fact, I felt that it was better to be a gay male, or
even a transgender male, than it was to be a little girl growing up. I
always felt that I really wasn’t lovable because I did not see the men
in my life loving women.
BOBBY: In the Doug Allen study, where he
canvassed 20% of the Canadian [gay parent family] census, he found that
the worst performing combination is a woman being raised by two gay men.
They only graduate at 15% the rate of children being raised by a mom
and a dad.
DAWN: There’s a lot of struggle academically and in
employment because there’s a lot of insecurities. I honestly felt that
my personality was crushed. . . .
puts on the same dog and pony show that my lesbian parents did. When my
mother was not with someone, she never showed up at school or school
activities; when she had a lesbian partner they’d admit that they wanted
to show up to put on a show for the teacher and the school and to see
how uncomfortable they could make everyone feel, all of which put me in a
terrible situation at school and was responsible for making me an
academic failure. There’s the Boston group who claimed that growing up
with same sex parents is positive because it makes the kids more
sexually adventurous and it makes them more open-minded. Who wants their
kids to be sexually adventurous? And what does that mean? One and the
other think being less bigoted and more open-minded . . . that was like a
red flag to me, because, you know I could tell from that result that
the question was manipulated. When a child raised by same-sex parents is
asked “What do you think of gay people?” they reply, with the two gay
parents sitting there looking at them with dagger eyes: “Oh, they’re
great; they’re wonderful.”
BOBBY: For me the problem was being a
boy being raised by two lesbians . . . I just didn’t have a dad there
and aside from the problem of not being able to model behavior, for me
the biggest problem was I didn’t have a man there. I don’t know if this
is a fair reading of what happened to me but I really tried to fill that
gap. And I filled that gap sexually. And from the age of 13 on, I was
extremely promiscuous and sleeping with a lot of older men. And they
would give me gifts and money, and I knew where to find them . . . they
were just everywhere. And partly this was because I had a heightened
awareness of gay culture because my mom had so many gay friends and
partly it was also the problem of not having a dad.
DAWN: About 30% of children raised by same-sex couples will become 2nd
generation [homosexuals] which is really high compared to, say, 2% in
the general population. . . . All the adult children that I have
communicated with have had some level of sexuality confusion. . . . And I
don’t know about Rivka, but with myself, there was sexual abuse. There
was sexual abuse with other adult children I have spoken to. So it’s a
very sexualized environment. Not just within the home but within the
subculture that I was exposed to. And so for me it was frustrating
because I was trying to find that father love affirmation so I began
having boyfriends at age 12. Now I may have appeared to be promiscuous
because I had all these boyfriends but really I was trying to fill that
deep down need to be affirmed as a daughter, from my father.
BOBBY: That’s interesting because you had a dad.
But his attention was always centered on the males in his life . . in
some way it wasn’t always like a couple, it almost seemed polygamous at
times because my father and his partner could be involved with 12 other
men at the gay bars.
BOBBY: I’ve gotten feedback from ex-wives who
lost custody of children to gay husbands who came out of the closet.
All of them express panic about the open relationships that their
ex-husbands have and the fact that there’s this parade of men in the
house. . . and how they leave their pornography around.
mother, you know, she had some of that pornography around and the books
and stuff. What I found even more distressing than all thatI didn’t
realize then, but I realize now, she was very invested in trying to
figure out what my sexuality was . . . I literally just completely
closed down that way. I was just completely androgynous. I never flirted
with a boy ever, in my life. . . . My lesbian mother was into gender
bending and with people who all dressed in drag. She was really into the
drag scene. And having these guys over. Most of them were just mean and
dumb. My sister and I were just invisible at one point. We just sort of
didn’t exist. . . . no matter which way you slice it, whether it was
the social or the political or the sexual, it was always about them. There was no concept of childhood. There cannot be a concept of child or childhood when the only identity is sexual.
1 Posted by R.O. Lopez, “Interview with Xavier Bongibault, head of the gay group opposed to gay marriage” (January 10, 2013).
2 Robert Oscar Lopez, “Gay French Mayor Explains Why He’s Against Gay Marriage” (January 6, 2013), p. 1.
4 La Joie de Vivre 2:11, “Kids of Gay Parents Speak Out” (Part 3 of 4).
5 Cf. “Interview with Xavier Bongibault.”
6 Lopez, “Gay French Mayor Explains Why He’s Against Gay Marriage".
7 Ibid., pp. 1-2.
showcases testimonials from adults who, from their experiences as kids
raised by two lesbian or gay adults, provide personal evidence for their
opposition to homosexual parenting. [Cf. homovox.com]
9 Lopez, Gay French Mayor, p. 1.
11 Tom Geoghegan, “The gay people against gay marriage” (10 June 2013), BBC News Magazine.
12 As Alexander Schimpf argues: “The
proponents of ‘same sex marriage’ frame the issue as one of civil
rights. The denial of this right is alleged to be akin to racism and all
other forms of prejudice. But there can be no right to something
fictitious. A same-sex union is not the same reality as a marriage. The
demand that it be recognized as such is really just a demand for
cooperation in a lie about the way things are.” [From Alexander
Schimpf’s commentary on a short quote from Robert Spaemann on the difference between marriage and an erotic relationship between persons of the same sex.
13 “Gay Voices Against Gay Marriage: Philippe Arino” NOM BLOG (January 10, 2013).
14 “Gay Voices Against Gay Marriage: Jean Pier” NOM BLOG (January 10, 2013).
15 Gay Voices: Phillipe Arino.
16 “The Dilution of the Family in Human Rights” ZENIT (March 30, 2014).
17 Lopez, Gay French Mayor, p. 1.
18 Goeghegan, "The gay people against gay marriage", p. 2.
19 Lisa de Morales, “Brothers Yanked By HGTV Respond".
20 La Joie, Kids of Parents, Part 1 of 4, p. 5.
21 Le Joie, Kids of Parents, Part 2, p. 7.
22 Ibid., p. 7.
“Lesbian and Gay Parenting" (American Psychological Committee on
Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Concerns; Committee on Children, Youth, and
Families; Committee on Women in Psychology) 2005, p. 5.
24 Ibid, p. 15
25 Social Science Research 41(2012):735-751.
26 Ibid., p. 748.
27 Ibid., p. 742.
28 Social Science Research 41(2012):752-770.
29 Ibid., abstract, p. 752.
30 Ibid., p. 766.
31 Peter Sprigg, “Homosexual Parent Study: Summary of Findings” (November 6, 2013), p. 1.
32 Ibid., p. 1.
33 La Joie, Kids of Parents, Part 1 of 4.
COLAGE is a gay activist organization created in 1990 by the children
of several lesbian and gay male couples who felt a need for support. It
is run and operated by people of all ages who have a LGBTQ parent or