We're recruiting new authors! To find out how to apply, click here!
Site under maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.


Freedom Requires Wings FRW The #1 QUILTBAG opinion blog on the web. We aim to open minds and help the queer community. News, blogs, video, worldwide suicide prevention and more. Worldwide

Why Gay Marriage is NOT "Bad for the Kids"

Freedom Requires Wings | by on




These days, gay marriage is the hot issue in American politics. States have been legalizing gay marriage left and right, which is awesome. It even seems like many politicians on all sides are starting to realize that the question of gay marriage is not “if” it will be legalized nationwide, but “when”. Many are starting to change their tune – even if they’re not fully supporting it, they’re at least not flat-out condemning it (there are still some who do, obviously, but the general trend seems to be moving away from that pretty quickly). While a lot of the arguments against legalizing gay marriage are based in religion (which I have a whole host of issues with, but that’s another post for another time), one argument that’s always confused me is the one where they try to make it about “the kids”. The argument I’m referring to is the one that says that kids do best with a mom and a dad, two parents of opposite genders. Coming from an educational background in psychology combined with years of working with kids in various capacities, this argument makes zero sense to me. I’m writing this tonight because I want to explain why, and I feel like it needs to be put out there into the world.

The number one problem I have with the argument is this: kids honestly don’t see a difference. My husband has an aunt who is lesbian, and lived with her partner for many years (including my husband’s entire childhood). He’s told me many times that when he was a kid, he never thought there was anything weird about it, they were just Aunt A and Aunt B (not using their actual names for privacy purposes, but A and B stand for their names), the same way they would have been Aunt A and Uncle B had it been a heterosexual partnership. And he never gave it a second thought. Every child I’ve met is the same way. They don’t differentiate, they just accept what you present to them. If you tell your child that two people are married, the child will accept that information regardless of the gender, orientation, race, religion, etc. of the two people. Children only learn to discriminate when adults present things to them as “wrong”. Obviously, as children get older, they do start to form preconceived notions of what “marriage” entails, but if they’re shown examples of gay marriage as “normal” when they’re young, their perception of that probably won’t change.

Another issue I have is this notion that having a female and a male parent can provide something that two female parents or two male parents can’t. There are many things wrong with that assumption, but the most striking to me is that it depends on the people. Some people are better at being parents than others, and it has nothing to do with gender, it has everything to do with personality and behavior. Are the people who make this argument really implying that a child is better off with a drug addict mom and an abusive dad than with two loving moms or two loving dads? That doesn’t make any sense at all. A child is always best off with parents who love and take care of them, and can provide them with food, clothing, shelter, education, socialization, and a loving and supportive environment. Whether that’s one parent or more than one, whether those parents are male, female, both, or neither, none of that matters as far as the welfare of the child. It’s about what the child needs, not about the demographics of who is providing them with it!

I want to leave you with a story that I think illustrates this point. My husband’s parents got divorced when he was in college (so he grew up in a “traditional” family – mom, dad, and siblings). Both of his parents are remarried, to women (so he has two stepmoms). The two households could not be more different. When we go visit his family, the contrast is so striking to me. His younger siblings and stepsiblings still live at home, so they see more of it than I do. But there was one time when we went to his family for his grandfather’s (dad’s father’s) birthday a few years ago. We stayed at his mom’s house, as usual, and long story short, we almost didn’t make it to the party, because nobody communicated about how we were getting there, which is pretty typical for his dad’s household (who was in charge of the party). Being the routine-dependent person that I am, this made me incredibly anxious and angry. In the middle of a heated discussion about the situation, his mom made some comment about how she would have handled things differently if her household were in charge, and before I could stop myself, I blurted out, “that’s because you’re NORMAL!” Her wife, who was listening, loved this so much that she actually recounted the story to me a couple of years later.

I grew up in a household with a “traditional” family – mom, dad, and sister. But to me, my husband’s mom’s household (which has two moms) feels normal. It feels stable, supportive, and loving – all the same things my own parents’ household feels like to me. But his dad’s household (which is a “traditional” household with a male and a female head) feels unstructured. It feels disjointed. I never know if there will be food for me there (I’m a pescatarian). I never know if I’ll be able to get where I need to go. And this breeds a lot of anxiety. I can only imagine what it’s like for kids living in that environment full-time. There is NO WAY that that’s better for them than a stable, structured, supportive, loving environment that happens to come with two parents of the same sex. Anyone who’s seen this in action will agree. I just hope that enough of them will share their stories to get rid of this myth that gay marriage is bad for the kids, before it’s too late for the kids!
< > F
Join us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter