Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Pediatric Physician's Helpful Perspective on Same-Sex Parenting

The latest issue of Lavender, "Minnesota's GLBT Magazine," has an insightful and helpful interview with Paul Melchert, MD.

I say "helpful," because Melchert, being a pediatric physician who, along with his partner James is raising twin three-year-old boys, has both the knowledge and experience to refute the claim that children are somehow in danger when raised by same-sex parents. It's a claim that's often expressed by members of the Catholic hierarchy and others opposed to granting civil marriage rights to same-sex couples. Following are excerpts from Lavender's interview with Melchert that address these types of claims.

Lavender: There is a lot of science that proves a parent’s sexual orientation is inconsequential with regard to raising healthy and successful children. What would you say to a person who still thinks only a heterosexual couple can raise healthy children?

Paul Melchert: Children watch how we interact with each other. They learn respect and tolerance from watching us respect and be tolerant of others. They learn how to disrespect and bully others from watching us disrespect and bully others. There is substantial evidence, supported by the leading medical organizations in the country, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Psychological Association, and the American Medical Association, which demonstrates that children who are raised in same-sex households turn out just as well – in all areas – as those raised by heterosexual parents. In fact, children raised by same-sex parents tend to be more nurturing toward younger children and tolerate higher levels of diversity.

Lavender: Based on your experience, how should Minnesota promote stronger and healthier families?

Paul Melchert: The proposed marriage amendment strengthens no families. We should focus on policies that actually strengthen all families. An example would be improved access to and affordability of excellent healthcare for all children. Another would be eliminating the existing achievement gap in our education system and increasing access to pre-K programs. The AAP has identified that there is a strong link between the health and well being of children and the support and encouragement of all parents and strong family relationships.

To read Lavender Magazine's interview with Paul Melchert in its entirety, click here.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Competent Parenting Doesn't Require "Traditional Marriage"
One Catholic Gay Parent Who Isn’t Leaving the Church
Celebrating the Presence of God Within All Families
Is Anyone in the Least Bit Surprised By This?
"That Utterly Profound 'In-Loveness'"

Recommended Off-site Link:
Yes, That Gay Parenting Study Was Bogus – John Corvino (The New Republic, June 12, 2012).

Image: Sophie Hantzes.

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