Michael Elderman and his partner A.J. Vincet play with their twins. (Emmanuel Dumand/AFP/Getty Images)

Michael Elderman and his partner A.J. Vincet play with their twins.
(Emmanuel Dumand/AFP/Getty Images)

It is all in the family here—a recent study conducted by the Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families dismantles negative stigmas about raising children with same-sex parents.

The extensive study reveals children of same-sex parents are meeting and in some instances exceeding health expectations in comparison to traditional families. An estimated 500 children through the maximum age of 17 comprised the study at Melbourne University. Contrary to naysayer’s beliefs on same-sex parenting:

An interim report found there was no statistical difference between children of same-sex couples and the rest of the population on indicators including self-esteem, emotional behaviour and the amount of time spent with parents. However, children of same-sex couples scored higher than the national average for overall health and family cohesion, measuring how well the family members get along.

The research conducted by the Australian Study of Child Health debunks the idea that same-sex parents are unable to successfully raise healthy children. Also, research suggests that there is a relationship between the negative stigma of same-sex parents and its impact on their children.

Contrarily, the Family Research Council (FRC), a non-profit organization founded in 1983 known for its ultraconservative values and explicit disdain for homosexuality, administered a similar research project that denounces research aimed to insinuate traditional parents and same-sex parents are identical. Peter Sprigg, a Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council, attempted to demystify the debate over homosexual parents and traditional parents. Sprigg barked at previous studies and concluded that they are “inconclusive” and “weak”:

In the larger cultural, political, and legal debates over homosexuality, one significant smaller debate has been over homosexual parents. Do children who are raised by homosexual parents or caregivers suffer disadvantages in comparison to children raised in other family structures–particularly children raised by a married mother and father? This question is essential to political and ethical debates over adoption, foster care, and artificial reproductive technology, and it is highly relevant to the raging debate over same-sex “marriage.” The argument that “children need a mom and a dad” is central to the defense of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Pro-family organizations (like Family Research Council) assert, “Social science research shows that children do best when raised by their own biological mother and father who are committed to one another in a life-long marriage.” This statement is true, and rests on a large and robust collection of studies.

To summarize, we have been left with large, scientifically strong studies showing children do best with their married mother and father–but which do not make comparisons with homosexual parents or couples; and studies which purportedly show that children of homosexuals do just as well as other children–but which are methodologically weak and thus scientifically inconclusive.

Moreover, the research by the Family Research Council may have been conducted with malicious intent. Sprigg’s continuous anti-gay message and condemnation of untraditional families further affirms the council’s biased opinion and their fundamental misunderstanding and misconstrued perceptions of homosexuality—the organization prides itself of advocating for Christian values, yet Tim Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, unintentionally acknowledged that the FRC is a hate group.

It is highly unlikely that organizations like the Family Research Council will go away, but the current scientific, psychological, and emotional research pertaining to homosexuality will weaken the distorted and oftentimes erroneous arguments used to support anti-gay messages. Meanwhile, children of same-sex parents are thriving despite what opposing sides may believe.

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