The Ten Reasons It is Unfair to Compare LGBTQ vs.Straight Parenting

ImageGeorge Bernard Shaw once described straight parenting as having ”no test of fitness”.  LGBTQ parents are beyond  the “test”  In recent scrutiny by representatives of the Catholic Church and a group of authors speaking at the Heritage Foundation, the raking LGBTQ parents have received has been unfounded, ridiculous, untrue and frankly, bizarre.  At best, it is bitterly unfair.  At the Heritage Foundation, authors Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson and Dr. Robert  P. George compared LGBTQ parenting to straight parenting and declared  “We should get rid of the idea that mommies can be good daddies and daddies can be good mommies.”  They declared the heterosexual sex act sacrosanct and placed it as the core of the parenting structure.  It is the same theory that the Pope and his team espouse, that the ability to physically make a baby is directly related to one’s ability to effectively parent it.  They would have us believe that the act most parents fear their sexually-able teens might do irresponsibly is somehow transformed into the very factor that would define them as knowledgeable responsible parents.

The theme of straight parents being innately better was also the basis of a study a number of months ago by Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas, who called biological straight parents “the gold standard” of parenting.  His study was incredibly weighted and biased in favor of attempting to make straight parents look superior to the point that even he himself had to acknowledge, ““I’m not claiming that sexual orientation is at fault here, or that I know about kids who are presently being raised by gay or lesbian parents. Their parents may be forging more stable relationships in an era that is more accepting and supportive of gay and lesbian couples.”

As a gay dad in the real world, I can assure Mr. Regnerus—of course we are.  To compare stable heteronormative families of the last 20 year to ones in which gay members were persecuted, vilified, ostracized and rejected is obviously…. unfair.   It was unfair to attempt to construct a comparison.   In the present time, motivated gay people, thrilled for the opportunity we thought was denied us, are becoming parents.  Higher percentages of us are adopting needy kids than our straight counterparts.   A comparison between us will be unfair to a percentage of straight parents of today participating in the status quo who will come off badly.   There are ten factors that make this so:

1.  We have to live up to scrutiny   We are not seen as “just” parents.  We are the LGBTQ parents.  Any mis-step is an indictment on all LGBTQ parents.

2. Prospective LGBTQ parents have less external pressure  Straight newly weds apparently start getting pressure to baby up within months, weeks and hours of their nuptials.  Most LGBTQ couples do not.  We are given the freedom to decide on kids when we feel we are ready.

3. LGBTQ parents step up to challenges more readily  I know many heroic parents, LGBTQ and straight.  One lesbian mom couple took responsibility for a foster baby girl whom they had to rush to emergency and spend sleepless nights a dozen times in her first weeks of life. The birth parents asked just to be informed on how it all went.  Meanwhile, as I held my newborn son and chatted with an acquaintance,  she remarked, “My sister almost adopted, but it did not work out.  The baby was ethnic, you know, and there was drug exposure involved”  She then looked down, and her face went red . She had just described the son that I adored beyond measure who was asleep in my arms.   LGBTQ parents step up and we invest more than biological parents do.

4. LGBTQ parents are not tied to pre-determined roles  There are a million things that need to be done in the course of parenting.  In straight households, these are often divvied up by gender, tradition and assumed roles.  In the LGBTQ household, they are generally done by the parent best equipped and interested.

5. Maturity  LGBTQ couples tend to come into parenting later in their adulthood in their 30s and 40s.  Parenting can be emotionally, financially and intellectually challenging.  I know that I was not as prepared for it in my 20s as I was in my 40s.  Personal wisdom is a handy asset.

6. LGBTQ parents more readily invest in their children’s uniqueness  We know what it is like to be forced into someone else’s pre-conceived box

7. We are compelled to communicate more with our kids    We prepare them for what they might hear, what the truth is, and what they might respond.

8. We are compelled to communicate more with our co-parents      We talk about who does what, as we blaze new trails.

9. LGBTQ parents plan for children   It Is virtually impossible for there to be an “unplanned” gay “pregnancy”.  This is an important factor according to Dr. Irving Leon, PhD , University of Michigan .  He states, ““More than half of all pregnancies are unplanned. While unplanned does not inevitably mean unwanted, when parents are not prepared or motivated to parent, their children suffer. … One study (Golombok et al., 1993) suggests that adoptive parents and biological parents who experienced infertility demonstrated significantly greater parental warmth, maternal emotional involvement, and parental interaction than their peers…Parenting is such a daunting task and such an important responsibility, not having sufficient motivation is a recipe for disaster. .Adoptive parenthood chooses and wants to parent first, a propitious beginning for all parenthood.”

10. Children in LGBTQ families are wanted    While the traditionalists decry gender “role models”, they obscure the single most important factor in raising a physically and emotionally well equipped children… whether or not that child was WANTED  In straight families, at least 34% were mistimed and accepted, and 5% were unwanted.  LGBTQ parents want their children and we are willing to fight a barrage of indignities in order to have them.

Adriano Pessina, director of bioethics at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart recently stated that no one has the “right” to children.  He was misguidedly trying to compare LGBTQ and straight parents due to physical procreation standards.  This is not only unfair, it causes him to miss the bigger point.  He is correct that no one has the right to children.  The US foster care system represents several million children whose procreating straight biological parents are learning that fact first hand.  They do not have the right to abuse and neglect the children they have made.

Rather that demonizing the gay families looking to help, as well as plan children from other means, he should be praying for more families like ours to come forward.  Love not only makes families, it sometimes saves lives.   it is only fair to recognize that  fact instead of spending time on insipid comparisons that help no one.

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About robw77

A single gay dad who cares. His story can be read here: http://www.imagaysingleparent.com/2013/02/02/rob/ and here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/31/rob-watson-gay-family_n_4689661.html
This entry was posted in Civil Rights, Family, Gay Christians, Hatred, Living, Marriage equality, Mixing religion and politics, News, Politics, Prejudice, US Politics and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The Ten Reasons It is Unfair to Compare LGBTQ vs.Straight Parenting

  1. Pingback: A Son Tells His Gay Dad , “You Are Not My Mom” -

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  5. Pingback: A Son Tells His Gay Dad, “You Are Not My Mom.”

  6. robpavao says:

    Thank you for a very informative post about LGBTQ parents….I have friends who are great parents (both gay and straight) and it is important to ensure that the focus should be that children should be in supportive, loving and nurturing homes. Those who criticize and demonize the LGBTQ community are probably the ones who do not provide a supportive, loving and nurturing home for their children. Thanks for spreading love and positive energy.

    Robert – http://www.coalitionofpositiveenergy.com

  7. Pingback: A Son Tells His Gay Dad , “You are Not My Mom” | evoL =

  8. Jenn says:

    I never understand the groups that come out against LGBTQ’s having children or families or marriage. They like to say that only “Traditional” parenting or marriages are to be accepted. My Father died when I was very young. I was raised along with my 6 other siblings by a strong, compassionate outstanding roll model, my Mother. Being raised by a single parent hasn’t hurt me at all. My Brother is opposite to “gender defined” roles. He is a straight man who was a stay at home Dad. His children grew up to be productive members of society. The narrow view of what it takes to make a family boggles my mind.

  9. marlenegalea says:

    This blog has rattled me a bit. My gut instinct was to disagree, I admit. But once I got over my initial ‘how dare you say that LGBTQ parents are better than us?’ I began to see your point. Especially on the points about LGBTQ parents not being pressured into parenthood and about them having children by choice.

    Very interesting read, as always.

  10. 2dadsblog says:

    Reblogged this on 2 Dads are better than 1 and commented:
    Great blog by robw77… couldn’t have said any of it better!

  11. kzottarelli says:

    I love this. It is so very sad and a little confusing to me how a homosexual couple will be held at some higher standard for parenting when it seems that it is the straight parents who are so lacking. And it should not matter what they are except if they are good decent parents, who love and care for their children. It is about the children, whether a couple is straight or gay should not be an issue. Maybe I was raised different, but it is my belief that when you are in a family, you all just do what needs to be done. If one person is better at something, they do that, no set roles according to gender. My husband used to have hair down to his waist, he is awesome at doing braids etc., so now he does our daughters hair every morning (he even looked up on YOUTUBE how to do an inside out braid, I don’t even know what that is, lol . On the other hand he can’t match clothes to save his life, that’s my job. When our 4 story house had to be painted we all pitched in, Grandma and Grandpa too. When you are in a family there should be no such thing as gender roles, it’s family, you just do. And parents should just be parents. When my first husband died no one said to me I would be doing my son a disservice because I no longer had a husband or male role model, so why should it matter if a child has two female parents or two male parents as long as they are loved, supported, cared for…all the things any good parent would do? Those people who would deny a child a loving family because the parents happen to be two of the same gender are completely lost as to what a real family is, and are denying many children the chance for a happy loving home. There are many ways and forms of family, the only one that is better than another are the ones filled with love and support!

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