Should Gays Raise Children?

July 7, 2011

- See all 31 of my articles

As we enter the time of year when we’ll hear presidential debate after debate and advertisement after advertisement I began to reflect on some of the values that I expect from my candidate. As I reflected, one particular value hit me very hard. Four years ago this same idea was “sort of” on my radar but I didn’t feel very strongly about it. As with most of us, our experiences in life provide us perspective. As we grow older we develop sometimes those perspectives change based on the very experiences that we have.

I often say that as we grow older in life we tend to think more conservatively. That doesn’t mean that all of us will become conservatives, but without a doubt I would think that most people will move a little more conservative with age. The last few years I moved a little more conservative on one particular issue; this issue won’t sit well with many people either. That issue is related to gay marriage; specifically, it’s gay couples having or adopting children.

I still could care less if the Squirrel and Zarberg want to get hitched and do the nasty all day. I could care less if that means they declare themselves a couple for tax purposes, for the benefit of insurance. I’m still fairly neutral in that view as long as I don’t have to watch them making out. I still think it’s a sin and I still don’t approve of it but that doesn’t mean I don’t understand the desire of a gay couple to declare their devotion to one particular person.

Here is where I draw a firm line in the sand. Gay/Lesbian/Homosexual couples should not parent children whether they have been adopted or birthed through insemination. A few years ago I didn’t view this as much of an issue. Let me explain why I have changed my opinion.

I work with a gay female that is in a committed, long term (married now) relationship with another female. They have two beautiful children. Both children were carried and birthed by my friend’s spouse. The father is the same for both children and Mom was artificially inseminated. The kids are 100% brother and sister in every way having the same Mom and Dad. They are blessed to have two very caring and loving Mom’s. The Mom that I work with is one of the most loving individuals that I know. She cherishes her children to a point that is rivaled by few. I know she would do anything for her kids and loves each of them more than life itself. Her spouse also loves their children more than many parents love their children, but I don’t know her very well. They provide for the kids very well and are raising them wonderfully.

Ok Squeaky, this sounds like it’s going well. What’s the problem?

The problem really origin blows up outside the home. Kids are horrible to each other, you know that. If kids can find something odd about another child, they exploit it. Most of the time its petty stuff like, “Kosmo has a green shirt on today so he’s bad”, “Kosmo has cooties” or “Don’t play with Kosmo today because he farted in class…again”. You know, stuff that passes in a moment or two.

These two kids however are in hell a great deal of the time. “Martin has two moms…eeeeew” “Squeaky is going to be gay because he has two Moms.” “Don’t invite Crunchy to the sleepover because she has two moms so you know she’s going to try and kiss you”. This has been going on for a couple years and it isn’t slowing down.

The kids can’t ride the bus any longer. The kids can’t hang around after school any longer. The kids have to get taken to school and picked up by one of their moms so they don’t get picked on. The whole family is deeply troubled by this and they’re all in psychotherapy trying to deal with it. You tell me, what 7 year old child should need a shrink? Do you think for a minute that this was a thought in the mind of the parents when they decided to have these two kids? Of course not, obviously the kids’ moms never intended for any of that to happen. What parent would?

This doesn’t mean that they aren’t good parents. This family lives in a small town of 50,000 people and everybody knows everybody’s business. There is no escaping for these kids. Certainly as they grow older it will get better, but we’re talking years from now, and at what price? The oldest is 12 and she is still going through hell. She went on a date with a boy a few months ago and the boy’s parents flipped when they found out that she had two moms. Then one of the moms found out that the boy was black and she flipped too. There is no winning.

I’m not trying to say that gay people are bad. If anything this story should show just the opposite. They’re just like everyone else, they can be great, kind, loving, caring people OR they can be a total jack ass. Being gay doesn’t make someone good OR bad. Being gay doesn’t mean that a person is a good or bad parent either. What I’m saying is that being a gay parent does set up your children for a lot of grief, turmoil and many years of hell.

As we go to the polls, as we listen to and watch debates this year, I’m not asking you to change your mind. I’m not pushing for No Gay Marriage or anything like that. I’m not trying to deprive anyone of their rights. I’m just saying, we all need to grow up and not think about immediate gratification. Think about the long term impact of the decisions that we make. Think about how your decisions impact others; not just with gays being parents but with everything: Unions, taxes, abortions, green/clean energy, buying American produced goods, annexation of that little farm down the road, approving the bond fund, raising the sales tax, eliminating the senior exemption, changing the drinking age, immigration requirements, and minimum wage. I could go on and on.

I’m not saying that the conservative thought is the correct one every time (even though it is), but we really need to be responsible and think deeply about what you’re voting for/against. Everything we vote on has impacts beyond the main subject you are looking at. Think about it thoroughly, consider the impact and make your decision wisely. Don’t just live life in the moment.

I’ll stop down off my soap box now.


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kosmo
    Jul 07, 2011 @ 09:52:56

    I get what you’re saying, Squeaky, but I’ll ask these questions.

    1) Is this fairly typical, or are you seeing an extreme example? Some groups of kids are more harsh than other, and some kids have thicker skin than others. Is this maybe a situation of thin skinned kids bumping into a group a worse kids? Or do you think this is fairly common across the US.

    2) Does a bad childhood make life not worth living? At some point, these kids will get to a point where their parents simply aren’t a point of discussion in their peer group. I don’t know much about the parents of my acquintances. If I know much about your parents, you’re likely in my inner circle (at which point we’d be good enough friends for me not to tease you about gay parents). Bear in mind that these kids would simply not exist if not for the fact that the gay couple chose to use a sperm donor to assist with their family planning. Personally, I’ll take life with all its struggles instead of non-existence.

    I really think that general acceptance of gays is going to turn the corner in the next couple of decades. Several states already allow gay marriage, and I think this will eventually become a matter for the US Supreme court.

    Note to the readers: Squeaky is away from the internet for a few days and will be slow to respond. Don’t worry, if you leave a comment, he WILL eventually respond to you.


  2. The Angry Squirrel
    Jul 07, 2011 @ 10:49:10

    Like you said though, kids will be kids and find whatever to pick on you. What if a kids parents are divorced and another kid has been raised to think divorce is wrong and picks on them for that. Should we not allow those who are divorced to raise children? What about single parents? Some kid may make remarks and be cruel about them not having a mom or dad around or even knowing them at all. Should we not allow single people to raise children? What about couples who are unmarried raising a kid? Of course not is my opinion.

    Being straight or gay, married, divorced or unmarried, conservative or liberal does not make you prone to be a better or worse parent and should not be a factor in deciding who should or should not raise a child and neither should what other kids may or may not do. Maybe we should look more at what we are teaching our kids that make them see things like these differences to pick on people for. If we were not teaching our children that those people are barbarians, diety, an abomination, unworty, unequal, not mentally right,not like us,etc it would not be a factor. However that utopian of an ideal will never happen so lets just stick to our own lives as the physical makeup of any family has absolutely no effect on your own.


  3. Evan @40Tech
    Jul 07, 2011 @ 11:55:54

    I think much of this depends on where you are. In many parts of the country, this type of family isn’t so unusual that it would provoke the behavior mentioned in your article.

    I guess I’m the exception to your statement about people getting conservative as they get older. As I get older, and deal more and more with people who are different than me, I’ve gotten more liberal. Growing up and through college I was a diehard conservative. I look back to those days and think that I lived a pretty insulated life, and much of what I believed sounded good on the surface, but wasn’t really grounded in reality. Or maybe I haven’t changed too much. I feel more liberal, but that may be because each party has been co-opted by the far right and left, unintentionally pushing the more moderates in the other direction.


  4. kosmo
    Jul 07, 2011 @ 12:29:53

    That’s a good point, Evan. One option would be to move to another part of the country.

    As far as becoming more conservative when you get older, I’ve always heard this:
    “If you’re young and conservative, you have no heart. If you’re old and liberal, you have no brain” – or something to this effect.

    I don’t think I’ve grown appreciably more conservative, either. I’m not sure that I’ve grown more liberal, either. My views have changes, but sometimes to the left and sometimes to the right.


  5. wuzafuzz
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 12:49:57

    I feel for the kids in Squeaky’s story, as well as their parents. Evan was absolutley correct; the outcome depends on where you are. It is my hope that such parents, prospective or current, would take a long hard look at the local culture to try and predict what they will be exposing their children to. Just as there are places I didn’t want to raise my kids, the same will be true for gay parents.

    Perhaps someday people will be more tolerant. Until then, why force the kids to swim against the current? I’m not suggesting the avoidance of ALL hardship, but we don’t intentionally send kids into emotional combat either.

    Growing more conservative as we age? Not me. As I’ve aged I find the libertarian perspective increasingly attractive. No longer do I blindly follow the lead of the Republican Party. I’ve come to believe the largest difference between the left and the right is which things they don’t want you to do. They both have a pretty big list of things I shouldn’t be allowed to do. I’m not talking complete anarchy, some regulation is needed, but both “sides” of the political spectrum have gone much too far.. Call me a conservative libertarian for now.


  6. The Computer Ate My Nym
    Sep 06, 2011 @ 21:24:07

    It strikes me that the moral here is not that gays shouldn’t have kids, but that jerks shouldn’t have kids. And the people whose kids torment the children of the couple in your anecdote are jerks of the first order. Their kids reflect that. No one can stop their kids from bullying all the time, but if it’s persisting for 12 years, that’s a sign of a very, very sick culture. Suppose a family from Britain moved into your town and the kids made fun of their kids’ accents-for 12 years. Would you conclude that British people shouldn’t have kids or shouldn’t move to the US?

    Anecdotes aside, there has been a substantial amount of research on outcomes of kids raised by lesbian parents and some research on outcomes of kids raised by gays. The result is that they’re pretty close to indistinguishable from children raised by straight parents.


  7. Jon
    Sep 07, 2011 @ 00:32:47

    I must admit this has been a question in my mind also. I recall one of my friends had 2 moms and he was constantly bothered by the thought that others might think he was gay because his mom was. Nobody I knew gave him anything of a hard time about it, but that was because only a few people that he knew (maybe 3) actually knew.

    The thing that I have noticed based on some of my friends that I have grown up with is this; Some friends that grew up predominately in a single mother or father situation have a tenancy to miss a few things. I have a few friends that simply never learned the things that I did because they didn’t have a father or mother figure.. I think this problem will also apply to children of gay couples, however it also applies to single-parent families also anyways..

    As for the problem with children of gay couples being picked on, I would have to say its highly likely, Yeah, kids will pick on others and can find anything, but children of gay parents are extremely easy targets because it is still not that common. The comparison of children that moved in from Britian doesn’t really compare.. From what I recall when I was in school, foreign speaking kids/etc nobody really cared, Mostly their personality was what mattered. However if any of the guys had any reason to pick on another guy for being a pussy/etc. they would exploit this.

    Unfortunately the biggest problem with someone bullying is its going to happen just about everywhere you go.. The only thing that changes it the bully. The only solution would be simply to hide that you have 2 parents of the same sex, or become the bully.


  8. The Computer Ate My Nym
    Sep 07, 2011 @ 21:28:52

    Unfortunately the biggest problem with someone bullying is its going to happen just about everywhere you go.

    The only way to stop bullying is by making bullying unacceptable. Bullies don’t bully other kids because they hate their race/gender/perceived sexual preference/parents/whatever, they bully because they’re inadequate, poorly raised children who can’t make themselves feel important any other way. Hide or remove all gay parents and you’ll just have bullies picking on a different kid for some other reason. Race is traditional. Being a new kid and especially a new kid with a foreign accent or language is another. Or body shape, personality, etc. When I was a kid, no kids at school had openly gay parents. Yet somehow it was not a bully free paradise. The bullies just picked another characteristic.

    I agree that there are few options for the child being bullied to end the bullying. That’s why it is so imperative for the adults (teachers, parents, etc) to step in and stop the bullying and deal with the bully as the problem. If the adults stand back and say, “Oh, it’s your parents’ fault for being gay” that just reinforces that no one will help them and that the adults side with the bully.

    I’ve seen bullying as a child, a parent, and a friend of children. I’ve never seen it resolve by the child being bullied changing his or her behavior or other characteristics that the bully picks on and uses to make the child his or her target. The only way bullying ever resolves is for adults to step in and tell the bully that their behavior is not acceptable-consistently.


  9. Angelle
    Feb 16, 2012 @ 20:51:58

    Yes of course! No matter what happen they are still men. They can raise children. I have a gay neighbor and he had a family already. He had 5 children and I know that her wife aware that he’s a gay, he love his children and responsible enough in terms of family needs. He can brought his children in private school. So, I definitely believe that gays are able to raise a family.


  10. Squeaky
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 10:05:02

    This has come up again in the media recently. Each side of the opinion is saying the other is biased. There has been extensive research by University of Texas at Austin and the article is based on those numbers.

    Enjoy the read:


  11. kosmo
    Jun 15, 2012 @ 15:54:00

    A few thoughts on this survey:

    1) It’s described as “broad based”, but 3000 people (including just 175 from that group you’re trying to determine something about) is pretty small. While the article doesn’t use the term “statistically insignificant”, it gets about as close as it can with this: “The sample wasn’t large enough to draw strong conclusions about the men.”

    2) Since they talked to adults about their experiences as children, this would reflect PAST parenting by gays and not necessarily the present experience. So even if the sample is large enough to be statistically valid (and I don’t think it is) the best it could do is tell how things were in the past, not how things are today.

    3) Should the children of gays be compared to the children of married biological parents, or to the entire population? If people are going to make broad based statements (i.e. children of gays are worse off than “other” children” then they really should compare to the broader population. If they choose to use the nuclear family as a comparison, it’s important to note this, since the nuclear family is just one of many different familial options (and one that is declining in prevalence with each passing year).


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