Pope. Pope. Pope.
What the F, man?
The day after Rome had a gay pride parade, Pope Francis decided to tell his throngs of followers that heterosexuals make better parents than homosexuals, and that children do better in homes where they have a man and woman watching over them. From a story in the Religion News Service:
Addressing around 25,000 followers from the Diocese of Rome, the pope said the differences between men and women are fundamental and “an integral part of being human.”
The pontiff likened a long-lasting marriage to a good wine, in which a husband and wife make the most of their gender differences.
“They’re not scared of the differences!” the pope said. “What great richness this diversity is, a diversity which becomes complementary, but also reciprocal. It binds them, one to the other.”
Heterosexual marriages not only ensured couples’ happiness, the pontiff said, but were deemed essential for good parenting.
“Children mature seeing their father and mother like this; their identity matures being confronted with the love their father and mother have, confronted with this difference,” Francis said.
This, if you don’t know already, is absolutely false.
Not only is it false — because lots of things the pontiff says are false, but who cares? — it hurts children. It hurts children by suggesting that there’s something wrong with their parents. It hurts them by opening them up to potential ridicule and bullying. And think of all the foster children who are hurt when politicians, in efforts to be “good Catholics,” try to limit gay parents’ ability to adopt children. All those children unable to join stable, loving families because of bigotry at the Vatican…
It’s just so sad.
I would love to hold out hope that most Catholics know enough to seek more information on this subject, to read the multitude of studies that show that children of gay couples do every bit as well as other kids. There’s a great article (“About Lesbian and Gay Parenting”) that Nathaniel Frank, director of the What We Know Project at Columbia Law School, posted on Slate earlier this year. In it Frank explains that virtually every study of gay parents has show that the children of such unions do just fine. And in the very few instances that have shown evidence to the contrary, it’s because same-sex parents had been thrown in with divorced parents in the study; talk about skewing the results…
Here’s a bit taken from a recent article (“The Kids of Gay Marriage are Allright”) in the Daily Beast:
There’s the 2010 Stanford study that says “children of same-sex couples are as likely to make normal progress through school as the children of most other family structures.” There’s the 2007 Florida State University paper that says “Children (of gay and lesbian adoptive parents) have strength levels equal to or exceeding the scale norms.”
There are even some studies, like this one from UCSF and another from the University of Melbourne last year, that say kids of gay and lesbian parents might be better off socially, emotionally, and academically.
Then there’s the worry that the sample size is too small or that the studies aren’t long enough. But those concerns have been dispelled, too, in this Tufts study from 2013 that concludes “extensive data available from more than 30 years of research reveal that children raised by gay and lesbian parents have demonstrated resilience with regard to social, psychological, and sexual health despite economic and legal disparities and social stigma.”
Ignoring these findings and delaying recognition of gay marriage is not benign, Bonauto argued on Tuesday.
“In terms of waiting, I do think the effect of waiting is not neutral. It does consign same-sex couples to this outlier status, and there will be profound consequences that follow from that,” she said.
Profound is right.