Show Me the Data, Governor McDonnell
February 27, 2012 by Ellen Kahn, Director of the Children, Youth & Families Program
During a recent interview with Politico, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell referred to the “overwhelming data” that suggest children do best when raised by a married mother and father. He is one of many high profile, elected officials taking the liberty to twist the real data in a way that defends their archaic positions on LGBT parenting.
Governor McDonnell spoke as if he personally has read the articles on LGBT parenting and is very familiar with the research on our families, yet he was not asked to share even one example or refer to a specific article to back up his position. Nor have I seen or heard others who throw around these lies be held accountable when they misrepresent the body of research on children raised by LGBT parents.
Whatever happened to footnotes, to backing up your claims with accurate citations? When the legal equality and social status of our families is on the line we can’t sit back and tolerate lies. The truth, which is borne out of 20 plus years of research on outcomes for children raised by same-sex parents, is that our children do just as well socially, academically, and emotionally as do children raised by heterosexual couples.
What Governor McDonnell and other anti-LGBT forces may be referring to, and taking out of context, are the studies that show poorer outcomes for children raised by one economically disadvantaged parent (for example a single mother who did not plan to have a child on her own), compared to those raised by a married couples in which one or both parents can be breadwinners. These studies simply confirm what we know from experience, which is that children do best when they have a parent, or two, who have the financial, emotional and practical resources necessary to meet the child’s needs. To apply this data to the experience of LGBT parents is irresponsible and simply inaccurate.
We must pressure our elected officials and other public figures to get their research right, and to answer the hard questions if they continue to adapt research to further their political interests.
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