President's Claim About Sexual Orientation and Parenting Unfounded
- "Every credible study shows that sexual orientation has no effect on
parenting ability," said HRC's Winnie Stachelberg.
The New York Times article mentioned by HRC is at (scroll down page
for the quote):
Bush Says Iraqi Leaders Will Want U.S. Forces to Stay to Help
For Immediate Release from HRC
Contrary To President's Claim, Studies Show Sexual Orientation Has No
Effect on Parenting Ability
Friday, Jan. 28, 2005
WASHINGTON -Challenging comments made by President Bush in an
interview with the New York Times, the Human Rights Campaign stressed
today that all major research studies show sexual orientation is
irrelevant to parenting ability.
"Every credible study has shown that sexual orientation has no effect
on parenting ability," said HRC Political Director Winnie Stachelberg.
"Adoption should be about what's best for the child, not appealing to
a political base. The nation's leading child welfare, psychological
and children's health organizations agree that gay parents make just
as good parents as straight ones. With so many children in foster care
in need of permanently nurturing homes, it's critically important that
we put science before ideology when making family policy decisions."
According to the Times, President Bush avoided answering a question on
Florida's ban denying gay and lesbian individuals the right to adopt,
saying he was unaware of it. The President said that while "children
can receive love from gay couples ... studies have shown that the
ideal is where a child is raised in a married family with a man and a
However, a 2001 meta-analysis of two decades of studies on the topic,
show that the sexual orientation of a parent is irrelevant to the
development of a child's mental health and social development and to
the quality of a parent-child relationship. (See (How) Does the Sexual
Orientation of Parents Matter? by Judith Stacey and Tim Biblarz in
the American Sociological Review, April 2001.)
Further, the consensus among leading professional organizations - as
stated through policy and position statements - is that a parent's
sexual orientation is irrelevant to his or her ability to raise a
child. These groups include the: American Academy of Pediatrics,
American Academy of Family Physicians, American Anthropological
Association, American Medical Association, American Bar Association,
American Psychiatric Association, National Association of Social
Workers and North American Council on Adoptable Children. To read
their policies and others, visit:
Many organizations also have condemned discrimination based on sexual
orientation in adoption, custody and other parenting situations and
called for equal rights for all parents and children. Further, several
of these organizations also have issued statements declaring that a
parent's gender identity and/or physical appearance is irrelevant to
his or her abilities as a parent.
"Lawmakers need to look at the evidence when they're making policy,"
added Stachelberg. "Myths should not dominate discussions about gay,
lesbian, bisexual and transgender families."
NEWS from the Human Rights Campaign
1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20036-3278