New Study Defies Anti-LGBT Parenting Critics

by Stephen Peters

Findings show kids of same-sex parents no different from those with opposite-sex parents

WASHINGTON - Today, with an imminent ruling expected from the highest court in the land on marriage equality, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, highlighted a new study that found “the literature on outcomes for children of same-sex parents is marked by scientific consensus that they experience ‘no differences’ compared to children from other parental configurations.” Co-authored by professors from the University of Oregon and the University of Colorado at Denver, the study reviewed 19,000 studies and articles from between 1977 to 2013.

“This new research is yet another nail in the coffin of the outrageous arguments used to deny our LGBT families the legal equality, fairness, and respect we deserve,” said Ellen Kahn, HRC Director of the Children, Youth & Families Program. “The perception or attitude that same-sex parents and families are not good enough, or ‘less than,’ is what truly hurts children, not the fact that they have two moms or two dads. When same-sex parents are faced with the scorn of homophobic opponents who repeatedly claim that children need a ‘married mother and father,’ let us remind them that it is precisely their behavior - their false claims about our families and their anti-LGBT rhetoric that are hurting children.”

“Consensus is overwhelming in terms of there being no difference in children who are raised by same-sex or different-sex parents,” said University of Oregon professor Ryan Light, as reported by Reuters. “The studies, Light said, showed some disagreement among scientists on the outcome of same-sex parenting in the 1980s but it largely subsided in the 1990s, and a clear consensus had formed by 2000 that there is no difference between same-sex and different-sex parenting in the psychological, behavioral or educational outcomes of children.”

The number of LGBT-headed families continues to grow, as does our need to secure legal equality, fairness and respect for LGBT parents and to provide environments where all children are welcome, supported and loved. For more information, visit

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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