Gay Marriage Gains Momentum in U.S.
October 17thIs a Groundbreaking Day
This week, Attorney General Eric Holder said in a video message last Friday that the U.S. government would recognize marriages for federal benefits in seven new states: Colorado, Indiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Utah. Also, on Friday, a federal judge struck down Arizona’s ban on gay marriage and a The U.S. Supreme Court denied the state of Alaska’s request to put a stop to gay marriages pending an appeal. Earlier, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess ruled earlier that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.
What does this mean for parents? Susie and Johnny may not be marrying the opposite sex, but brides and brides as well as grooms and grooms may now walk down the aisle in twenty-six states. You’re not losing a daughter, but gaining one.
I’m O.K., You’re O.K.
One of the biggest blows to straight parents of gay and lesbian children is the fact that their daughter or son won’t get married and produce grandchildren. However, the American Family is being redefined every day, maybe not what you, the straight parent, originally envisioned, but for the majority of Americans, same-sex marriage is o.k., particularly for the under-30 age group. Parents needn’t worry about their child being relegated to a life of loneliness; it is possible for their child to get married in the majority of states now.
What Me Worry?
As same-sex marriage is a new concept, parents may worry about its lasting effects. However, Michael Callahan, writer for Men’s Health, September 30, 2014, http://www.menshealth.com/best-life/gay-guys-to-the-rescue, reports that the landmark 2008 study, published in the journal Developmental Psychology, followed gay couples for three years, and found that “by nearly every metric, they reported higher-quality relationships and felt more satisfied than straight married couples did.”
What About Children
For parents who worry about the effects that a non-traditional marriage has on their children, consider this:
While adoption is not automatic in many states and is complicated by the fact that the spouse often has to adopt the child of the other spouse, an Australian study (ACHESS), the first of its kind to consider the health and well-being of children with same-sex parents, found that children from same-sex families scored about 6% higher on general , health, and family cohesion. On most health measures, including emotional behavior and physical functioning, the 500 children of 315 same-sex parents in Australia showed no difference compared with children from the general population.
With more states performing gay marriage and studies pointing to the success of gay relationships, your children’s decision to marry and have children will not be considered “less than” or inferior to your traditional marriage defined as between man and woman.
When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know
For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.