Kids From Gay or Straight Parents Fare The Same in Life

Filed under: In The News, Research Reveals: Babies, Research Reveals: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Research Reveals: Big Kids, Research Reveals: Tweens, Research Reveals: Teens

Are children of gay parents more tolerant? Credit: Getty Images

A Cambridge University psychologist testified in federal court last week that children do as well with same-sex parents as they do with heterosexual parents.

"Studies have found children do not require both a male and female parent," testified Michael Lamb, the head of Cambridge's Department of Social and Developmental Psychology. His testimony was given before U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Lamb's testimony was on behalf plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit who claim California's ban on gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process.

California voters -- by a 53 percent majority -- amended the state constitution in 2008. Proposition 8 was in response to a California Supreme Court ruling earlier that year decreeing same-sex couples have a constitutional right to get married.

Proponents of Proposition 8 claimed, among other arguments, that legalizing gay marriage would lead to a proliferation of gay parents with negative consequences for children.

Two same-sex couples are challenging Position 8 in federal court.

The court battle brings together two former foes. Former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson is joining forces with David Boies, who opposed Olson in the Supreme Court battle over the 2000 presidential election.

Boies and Olson represent the plaintiffs. Although Olson is a renowned conservative, he tells the Times he took the case because of his overriding interest in equal rights for everyone.

During last week's testimony, the Times reports that Lamb cited numerous and broad studies of same-sex parents. He testified that childhood adjustment is determined by the relationships parents have with children rather than their relationships to each other.

According to the Times, Lamb added studies show "no significant increase" in the number of children who become gay and lesbian when they are raised by gay couples rather than straight parents.

Children of same-sex couples do face some challenges, Lamb testified. They are more vulnerable than other kids to teasing about their parents. However, he added, they are not more likely to be teased overall.

Lamb also testified that children of gays and lesbians are more tolerant, having fewer sexual stereotypes than other children, the Times reports.

Defense attorney David H. Thompson painted Lamb as "a committed liberal." Cross-examined by Thompson, Lamb acknowledged that he was a was member of the American Civil Liberties Union, National Organization for Women, Amnesty International, Nature Conservancy and NAACP.

"And you have even given money to PBS, isn't that correct?" Thompson continued.

The Times reports Thompson also elicited testimony from Lamb that most studies have dealt only with lesbian parents.

Study Says Two Moms Make the Best Parents

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.