Letters to the Editor

Stephen Norton: Bad evidence

In Sanford Kessler’s Oct. 14 Point of View “ Opposing gay marriage in principle,” he stated that “all things being equal, children flourish best when raised by a mother and a father and, better yet, by their biological parents.” This has been a key argument for discouraging the adoption of children by same-sex couples.

My daughter, for her college sociology course, researched this question and found 11 academic articles examining this issue from such journals as Child Development, Family Relations, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Adolescence and Developmental Psychology. Every single study concluded that Kessler’s argument is untrue.

To quote from one: “There is no evidence that the development of children with lesbian or gay parents is compromised in any significant respect relative to that among children of heterosexual parents in otherwise comparable circumstances” (Child Development, vol. 63, p. 1,025).

I might add that there is also no evidence that children in biological families flourish more than adopted children, all things being equal.

Stephen Norton