Saturday, August 04, 2012

Gay Marriage--Chick Fil-a Follow-up

Yesterday was the national "Kiss in" protest of Chick Fil-a.  By all press accounts, it was a tremendous failure, especially in light of the millions of people who showed up to support Chick Fil-a on Wednesday's "Chick Fil-a Appreciation Day" hastily organized as a response to the Kiss In.

I wanted to point out that I had started my post about Gay Marriage a few months ago, and it just happened that I finally got it done this week.  I also wanted to reiterate my conclusion:  Gay Marriages, no big deal.  Gay couples with children, a very bad idea.

If heterosexual marriages ending in a single or maybe even a few divorces is bad for the children of those heterosexual parents, it is clearly bordering on ludicrous to think children in a Gay Marriage are going to be OK.  It starts with the kid being separated from one or both genetic parents, and then you are looking at a 95% probability of their experiencing at least one, and in all likelihood dozens, of failed "committed" relationships by the host parents.

So I think that is wrong.  In a heterosexual marriage there is a high percentage of those which fail, but it does not typically start with the child not connected to biological parents, and in the case of child adoption, the adopting parents are specifically screened to try to improve long term family stability.  In a gay marriage situation, they specifically ignore that circumstance to try to appeal to some misguided social need to cater to the confused familial desires of the vast majority of gay couples.

In one of the recent studies I drew from in my original article, criticism from the Gay community has been aimed at the study because the sample of Gay Couples in long term relationships was so low, they said it could potentially impact the statistical integrity of the study, and provided a distortion of the impact of Gay relationships on children.  The authors responded that they wanted more Gay couples in long term relationships with the same partners with children, but it was nearly impossible to find them.  One of the statistics I did not show was that most Gay parents who "come out" of a traditional marriage and identify themselves as being gay are opting out of being the custodial parents of their children, despite courts taking the position that their sexual orientation should not be considered in the assignment of child custody.  So that makes it hard to find gay couples, formed post-divorce, who have children.  Then finding gay couples with adopted children, considering the small percentage of gays in the general population to start with, is not simple.  Statistically, only about 8% of ALL gay couples in the USA have children living with them, and given that average gay relationships are around 2-years, and only about 15% of gay relationships will last 12 years or longer, finding long term committed gay partners with children is difficult.  To make this crystal clear, let's use real numbers.  It is estimated that there are about 6 million gay-lesbian people in the USA.  Of that, about 30% are cohabiting with another gay person, or about 1.8 million people.  Of those, about 8% have children living with them, or about 75,000 couples.  Of those, only about 15% have been together for 12 or more years, or 11,500 couples.  To include more than 100 of those couples in a study, as they did, is actually statistically HUGE.  It is also like trying to find a needle in the haystack, since finding 11,500 couples, or 23,000 people, scattered among 312,000,000 people is no simple task.

So back to my basic premise.  Gay marriage will be virtually unused.  In Sweden and the Netherlands, only about 2% of gay couples after more than 10 years of having the right to legal unions do so.  It really is too much hassle to marry just to divorce.

The impact on children in gay marriages is emotionally significant, though again, relatively few in numbers.  But we don't typically intentionally place children into painful environments just because someone is lonely or curious to see if they can do better than the statistical probabilities.

I think children have a right to a relationship with both biological parents, unless those parents are unworthy to be parents.  I think they then have a right to go to a home which will most closely approximate those types of relationships.  I think gay couples should only have children in their care if they come there by way of a formerly heterosexual marriage being dissolved by the "coming out" of one of the parents and the children and the surviving heterosexual parent agrees that it is not going to be harmful to the child, or, if the backlog of adoptable children is such that after analysis of the stability of a specific gay couple situation, such a home is deemed to be likely to have stability and be better than the environment the prospective child is leaving.  To just turn child adoption into a right of gay couples as if they were just like heterosexual couples is to literally ignore the elephant in the room.

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