HRC Blog

“Marriage Minute” Video Gets It All Wrong

On November 6, Minnesotans will vote on an amendment to the state’s constitution which, if passed, would  enshrine discrimination into the Constitution, prohibiting committed, same-sex couples from marrying. HRC is working tirelessly as part of a coalition committed to defeating this amendment.

Our opponents – Minnesota for Marriage - recently posted one of their “Marriage Minute” videos in which they attempted to address this question: “Isn’t it true that children don’t really need a mom and a dad – any two loving parents will do?” Since this is a coalition committed to keeping same-sex couples in Minnesota from marrying, we can assume the question they’re really trying to answer in the negative is, “Isn’t it true that children don’t really need a mom and a dad – a mom and a mom, or a dad and a dad will do?”

Having a gay dad myself, and being familiar with the research on the well-being of kids raised by same-sex couples, I was very interested to see how they would spin this. Well, they got it all wrong and failed to even address their own question!

In the video Kalley Yanta starts out her answer with, “Well ask just about any adult who was abandoned by a father or mother as a child if they needed that missing parent in their lives and you will know the answer to this question.” Huh? Wait. How is this answering the question she posed for us? Oh, right… she’s going to do what most do when addressing same-sex parenting within an argument against marriage equality: use studies that show poorer outcomes for children raised by single parents, compared to those raised by a married couple. As we told VA Governor earlier this year, applying this data to the experience of LGBT parents is irresponsible and simply inaccurate.

If Yanta were to look at data on the outcomes of children with same-sex parents, she’d be forced to cite studies like the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study initiated by Nanette Gartrell, which concluded that the adolescents studied, who had lesbian parents, “are well-adjusted, demonstrating more competencies and fewer behavioral problems than their peers.”

The video goes on about the importance of healthy marriages for the well-being of children. As many as two million children are being raised by LGBT parents in the U.S. Based on the 2010 census, there are same-sex couples in every one of Minnesota’s 87 counties and over 1600 of these couples are raising children. Marriage equality will positively impact the well-being of children with LGBT parents living in Minnesota. The Movement Advancement Project recently released a 125 page report outlining how LGBT families are hurt by legal and social inequalities. It seems we’re in agreement with Yanta on the importance of marriage.

Want to help respond to Yanta’s confused arguments and defeat the MN Marriage Amendment? Find out what you can do at

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