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American Sociological Association files Supreme Court brief regarding same-sex parenting

The American Sociological Association (ASA) files a friend of the court brief in both the Windsor DOMA case and the Prop 8 case arguing that children do just as well when raised by same-sex parents as they do when raised by opposite-sex parents.

In its brief, the ASA writes that “the social science consensus is clear: children raised by same-sex parents fare just as well as children raised by opposite-sex parents. Numerous nationally representative, credible, and methodologically sound social science studies form the basis of this consensus.”  The ASA’s review specifically references academic performance, cognitive and social development, mental health and behavioral problems.

Of equal importance, the ASA’s brief argues that “[t]he studies relied on by BLAG, the Proposition 8 Proponents, and their amici fail to support their claim that children fare better with opposite-sex parents than same-sex parents, because nearly all of the studies fail to examine same-sex parents or their children.”  The brief specifically singles out one study, by Mark Regnerus, which “several amici [opposed to marriage equality] rely heavily on” but which the ASA writes “did not specifically examine children raised by same-sex parents, and provides no support for the conclusions that same-sex parents are inferior parents or that the children of same-sex parents experience worse outcomes.”

In its conclusion, the ASA writes, “[A]ssuming that either DOMA or Proposition 8 has any effect on whether children are raised by opposite-sex or same-sex parents, there is no basis to prefer opposite-sex parents over same-sex parents and neither DOMA nor Proposition 8 is justified. The research supports the conclusion that extension of marriage rights to same-sex couples has the potential to improve child wellbeing insofar as the institution of marriage may provide social and legal support to families and enhances family stability, key drivers of positive child outcomes.”

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