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Hate-Based Legislation
The medievalists in Texas are trying to pass a law to keep gays from becoming foster parents, writes Natalie Gott for AP:

Legislators voted 81-58 Tuesday to approve the ban in an amendment tacked on to a bill that would revamp the state's Child Protective Services agency. The full bill was tentatively approved 126-16. Final approval was expected Wednesday.

"It is our responsibility to make sure that we protect our most vulnerable children and I don't think we are doing that if we allow a foster parent that is homosexual or bisexual," said Rep. Robert Talton, a Republican, who introduced the amendment.

The state Senate has passed its own version of Child Protective Services reform that does not include the ban on gay foster parents.

Randall Ellis, executive director of the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas, said the House measure would mean the exclusion of people who could be good foster parents to children who need of them.

"Mr. Talton has taken aim at the (gay and lesbian) community of Texas and thousands of children are now caught in the cross hairs," he said.

The stats about kids with gay parents? A few of them are here:

* As of 1990, 6 million to 14 million children in the United States were living with a gay or lesbian parent. (National Adoption Information Clearinghouse, a service of the U.S. Administration for Children and Families.)

* There is absolutely no evidence that children are psychologically or physically harmed in any way by having LGBT parents. There is, however, much evidence that shows that they are not.

* People with LGBT parents have the same incidence of homosexuality as the general population, about 10%. No research has ever shown that LGBT parents have any affect on the sexuality of their children. (Patterson, Charlotte J. 1992)

* Research claims that children with LGBT parents are exposed to more people of the opposite sex than many kids of straight parents. (Rofes, E.E., 1983, Herdt, 1989)

* Studies have shown that people with LGBT parents are more open-minded about a wide variety of things than people with straight parents. (Harris and Turner, 1985/86)

* Daughters of lesbians have higher self-esteem than daughters of straight women. Sons are more caring and less aggressive. (Hoeffer, 1981)

* On measures of psychosocial well-being, school functioning, and romantic relationships and behaviors, teens with same-sex parents are as well adjusted as their peers with opposite-sex parents. A more important predictor of teens' psychological and social adjustment is the quality of the relationships they have with their parents. (National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, 2004)

* Most "problems" that kids of LGBT parents face actually stem from the challenges of dealing with divorce and the homophobia and transphobia in society rather then the sexual orientation or gender identity of their parents.

Posted by aalkon at April 21, 2005 8:08 AM

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Comments

...incidence of homosexuality as the general population, about 10%.

Somebody's living in a dream world.

Posted by: Richard at April 21, 2005 10:46 AM

Denial, I know... it's *way* higher than that, especially if you count the bi community.

Posted by: Goddyss at April 21, 2005 12:34 PM

Do your straight friends who are mothers discount the importance of their own femininity in the development of their children?

Posted by: Cridland at April 21, 2005 7:35 PM

Who cares if it is 10% or just 10 people? Being a parent does not involve the genitals after the child is concieved.

Bigots not too long ago had a similar problem with skin tones. Or religious affiliation. Or economic class. Or nationality. Somehow today they think themselves different from those bigots.

But their argument stays precisely as absurd and ugly as you walk down the path of history.

Posted by: eric at April 21, 2005 8:19 PM

> Being a parent does not involve the genitals
> after the child is concieved.

What possible evidence could you offer to support such a claim? You think sex is only about conception?

That's very Catholic of you.

Posted by: Crid at April 21, 2005 8:48 PM

This coming from someone who just asked an unknown ungendered person to blow them? Do you have a Jeff Guckert/Gannon poster in your room next to your Democratic voter registration?

How often did your parents genitals come into play as they raised you?

Posted by: eric at April 21, 2005 9:02 PM

> who just asked an unknown ungendered person

Given the toothlessness of the spirit in question, it doesn't much matter.

> How often did your parents genitals...

Not genitals, SEX. There's a difference. If you don't see and feel it in every human interaction in your life, whether in a 7-11 or through a television set, you are tragically deprived.

Posted by: Crid at April 21, 2005 9:22 PM

Bull-

Yes there are tremendous differences between the sexes. But the old days of mom staying at home baking cookies while dad goes off to the factory are long gone. I know women that are more male in nature than most males. I also know males that exhibit femine traits more than the average female I know.

It all comes down to how much bullshit you can see and put up with from a kid, and your willingness to see their growth through to the end when they become an adult. It comes from willingness to be compassionate and listen to a kids problems....GODDAMNIT! YOU turned me into DR PHIL!!! This should be obvious!

There somes to be an underlying stereotype here that a kid raised by to gays will be effeminate of that a kid raised by two lesbians will be a leather clad Valkyie. If Newt and Cheney can create lesbians daughters, and Ron can create a homosexual son, why is it so unreasonable to think that hetero unions may not be such a great indicator of where a childs sexual identity comes from?

Posted by: eric at April 21, 2005 9:51 PM

> This should be obvious!

It should also be true, but it ain't.

> where a childs sexual identity
> comes from?

COnstructing identities isn't the purpose, nurturing souls is. I think a loving mother and a loving father is what's best for a kid. Don't you want what's best for kids?

Posted by: Crid at April 22, 2005 5:39 AM

So your basic premise is that gays and lesbians cannot nurture a child?

Posted by: eric at April 22, 2005 10:41 AM

>I think a loving mother and a loving father is what's best for a kid. Don't you want what's best for kids?

Fallacy. You are suggesting that gay couples are taking kids away from loving straight couples. Not the case. They are taking the kids away from orphanages.

Certainly you admit that being in a loving family of any kind is desirable over living in an orphanage or with a foster family that sees you as a paycheck.

Posted by: Little ted at April 22, 2005 10:44 AM

> You are suggesting that gay couples are
> taking kids away from loving straight
> couples...

What on Earth makes you think so? I'm saying that what's BEST for kids, meaning most likely to reward the greatest number of kids to the deepest possible degree, is to be raised by a loving mother and loving father. That's my 'basic premise'. How could you have read it otherwise?

> Certainly you admit that being in a loving
> family of any kind is desirable over living
> in an orphanage...

Why, why, why? What is it about this issue that compels seemingly sane people to compare apples to oranges, the best of gay parenting to the worst of straight?

Across races, socio-economic strata, and continental divisions of geography, this weird rhetorical phenomenon continues to present itself. It's like a freaky, Roddenberry/Star Trek rip in the time-space continuum... An off-kilter parallel universe where Spock wears a beard and cars have three wheels. People who seem normal go about their business as usual until they get to this one issue, and suddenly it's all TWISTED.... English and reason are no longer useful tools.

It's the damndest thang.

Posted by: Crid at April 22, 2005 8:37 PM

Cridland,

You wrote: I think a loving mother and a loving father is what's best for a kid. Don't you want what's best for kids?

This proposed legislation on foster parents is really about adoption. Adopting couples adopt children from orphanages or dead friends. Gay adopting couples are no exception. The legality of gay couples adopting deals with whether children are better off being raised by corpses, by orphanages or by gay couples. It does not deal with whether or not hetero families raise children better than gay couples.

I am not comparing apples to oranges, rather, you are making a defensible point that is totally beside the issue. Corpses are not loving mothers and fathers. Orphanages are not loving mothers and fathers. The choice is not between loving hetero parents and gay couples. The choice is between gay couples and orphanages (or alternatively, corpses). I can't believe anyone would be so naive to say that a child is better raised on the street or in an orphanage than by a set of lesbos or queers.

Posted by: Little ted at April 23, 2005 1:32 AM

> I can't believe anyone would be so naive to
> say that a child is better raised on the
> street or in an orphanage than by a set
> of lesbos or queers.

Phew! Good thing nobody did!

There's a loving straight couple for every orphaned BABY on the globe. If gays were content with adoptions over older-aged kids, I'd be receptive to the idea. And much more supportive of things that smell like gay marriage, and even gay marriage itself. But of course they won't be. Most people who have energy for gay marriage what the IDENTICAL accomodations that are given to straights.

I don't trust the figures cited by Amy, given the source, but their banner page is a lot of fun: "COLAGE is the only national and international organization in the world specifically supporting young people with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender parents."

See? 'We're not about sexuality, it's all about the kids!'

Posted by: Crid at April 23, 2005 9:13 AM

>There's a loving straight couple for every orphaned BABY on the globe. If gays were content with adoptions over older-aged kids, I'd be receptive to the idea.

The existence of the second group you cited invalidates your first statement.

Posted by: Little ted at April 24, 2005 6:24 PM

Typo... Take two: \

If gays were content with adoptions OF older-aged kids, I'd be receptive to the idea.

Posted by: Crid at April 24, 2005 10:35 PM

If straight people had those same adoption prohibitions, I'd have fewer problems with your idea, Crid.

Moreover, Crid, those are just a few bullet-pointed stats there, but I know fantastic researchers, whose work I've read - Judith Stacey, for one -- who have proved that gay couples are fantastic parents oftentimes; and no worse that straight parents the rest of the time. The Loftons, for example - the family Rosie O'D apparently came out to help.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 24, 2005 11:40 PM

Huh? Which prohibitions? You don't want ANYONE to be able to adopt babies, not even the best?

> gay couples are fantastic parents oftentimes

That's indisputably true. So what? What do you want for kids? I want what's best for them. Don't you?

Posted by: Crid at April 25, 2005 4:34 PM

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