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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Diversity: Where to Draw the Line.

We want to spotlight the Support Traditional Marriage Blog. They've only been online since December 1, but every post is a solid contribution to the marriage discussion.

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Diversity: Where to Draw the Line

The Article

Isobel White wrote a very interesting article on Prop. 8 and schooling. It deals with the idea that for schools to "ensure a basic level of respect and safety" they should "acknowledg[e] that diverse families exist and that some schoolchildren will, in fact, grow up to fall in love with someone of the same sex."
So there are two parts of this diversity argument.

To be respectful and safe, schools should:

1. Acknowledge that diverse families exist
2. Acknowledge that some students will have homosexual tendencies as adults

But by lumping them together, she also infers that anyone who disagrees with either is promoting schools NOT to be respectful or safe. Only a bigot wouldn't accept the beauty of diversity, right?
While I agree with part of what she says, I don't believe that endorsement of the entire idea is necessary for children to respect diversity.

What I Agree With

We should accept each child, regardless of the family from which s/he comes. Children usually don't have a choice about their family make-up. Thus, it should not be held against them. John should not be belittled because his father is an alcoholic, Suzy should not be teased because her father deserted her when she was two, and Amy should not be shunned because she has two mothers and no father.

What I Disagree With

I do not believe that we should endorse all family lifestyles as equally beneficial for individuals or society. Because we acknowledge that children are raised by married parents, single parents, foster parents, grandparents, and same-sex parents, should we promote all of these as the same? No. In teaching children which family lifestyle they should aspire to, they are not all equal. The intact, heterosexual, married family should be held as the gold standard; in a "best-best" comparison, it is vastly superior to any other family style.
What Schools Should Teach
I believe that if the schools follow the teachings outlined above, they will adequately address family diversity.

To recap:

1. Children should be accepted regardless of their family background.
2. Heterosexual marriage is the gold standard for future behavior.
If, in a high school setting, some parents allow their children to be taught about specific homosexual behaviors, that is their choice. But with the background given above, at least they will know what is best for individuals and society.

So what? What can I do?

If you have children in the schools, I would talk with their teachers to clarify what they teach regarding diversity. Also, talk with your children periodically to determine what they are actually being taught, since "diversity training" doesn't require parental notification or allow an opt-out process (at least in California).
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Other posts:
Re-Writing an Article to be Pro-Family
Co-Habitation: A Parable

33 comments:

  1. This is what I think the essential part of the argument is.

    Some people experience a same sex attraction. It is debatable why but it is there for some. We need to be compassionate towards people who experience this and avoid any type of discrimination.

    It becomes a problem when these people want to put their desires into action. Homosexual acts are disordered and unhealthy.

    It becomes an even bigger problem when these people want everyone to think that homosexual acts are normal.

    I think it is important to differentiate between those who do homosexual acts and those that have a same sex attraction.

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  2. I do not believe that we should endorse all family lifestyles as equally beneficial for individuals or society.

    How are you going to make sure that little Dan knows you think that his moms aren't as "beneficial" for him as his best pal Bob's mom and dad?

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  3. This post is great.

    Across the board, the married, in-tact family is the best for children. I don't know why this fact gets buried so often. If a same-gender couple has kids and still feels compelled to give their children opposite sex role models, it shows that the relationship is lacking.

    No one should be ridiculed or belittled because of their family, but we shouldn't feel compelled as a society to encourage any kind of family that doesn't provide a mom and a dad.

    Bad things happen, tragedy strikes, and we all do our best to step in and help-- but a same-gender couple strips a child (on purpose) of a parent. that doesn't seem fair to me.

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  4. Anonymous, I think you hit the nail right on the head. On purpose, by design children of same sex couples are denied one sex or another in their parentage, and we are supposed to celebrate that? It's just as much a tragedy as if that parent had been lost through death or divorce.

    http://beetlebabee.wordpress.com/2008/12/06/fatherless-nation/

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  5. Beetlebabee: On purpose, by design children of same sex couples are denied one sex or another in their parentage, and we are supposed to celebrate that?

    Why is it important to you to make the children of same-sex couples feel bad about their parents?

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  6. jesurgislac comments reveal the emotional grandstanding and strong-arm tactics that go under various rubrics like "diversity" and "anti-bullying"..

    There are a dozen ways the homosexual and anti-family forces will use to indoctrinate are children.

    One is to say - Uh -oh, gay families exist so they need to be affirmed. Well divorced families exist, adopted families exist, widowed families, step families and on 7 on.

    In none of these instances do we use the schools to hold up these families as equivalent to traditional families.

    Must people just shake there heads and say what a every day tragedy..

    There is no move to make such "families" morally equivalent or a new standard.

    Likewise . with anti-bullying initiatives. Gay or gay perceived children exist in schools and are picked on. One can easily develop a strategy of promoting anti-violence and punishing bullies that doesn’t entail pro-gay propagandizing.

    Yet the homosexual forces want to use people’s sympathy as a wedge in order to drive their agenda. This agenda is not to simply create a safe environment.

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  7. I think there's a difference between "making children feel bad" and promoting what is good. That's what often gets lost. Some schools are so concerned with making anyone feel bad for any reason that they don't take a stand on what is good.

    Since the same-sex issue is so charged, let's take single parenting instead. Let's say there's a little girls whose dad deserted her before she was born. Now her mom is trying to raise her by herself. We don't want to make her feel bad about having a "sub-optimal" home situation. But we also don't want to encourage her to follow in her mom's footsteps. The ideal is for her to set up a married home with a mother and father for her future children.

    By setting heterosexual marriage as the ideal, it encourages children to form those families when they are grown. Children won't be young forever. When it comes time to be adults, we want them to know what is best for themselves and society.

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  8. Fitz, awesome comment. I couldn't have said it better. I find the idea amusing that there's this apples and orange approach to the fruitbowl of morality. Gay activists say, "Can't the apples and oranges live together harmoniously in the bowl? We just want to be included!" but then they tip the bowl on it's head and kick the apples out. That's their brand of Homogeneity.

    There is no diversity allowed.

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  9. Fitz: Uh -oh, gay families exist so they need to be affirmed. Well divorced families exist, adopted families exist, widowed families, step families and on 7 on.

    In none of these instances do we use the schools to hold up these families as equivalent to traditional families.


    Actually, we do - at least, good schools do. Children whose parents are divorced, who are adopted, one of whose parents are dead, children who have step-parents they live with or visit with at weekends - as well as children with same-sex parents - deserve to be able to read about their kind of families in story books and text books: to know that the families they live in are normal and regular families, and none of these children deserve to be made to feel bad because they don't have one mom, one dad, both of them their biological parents, married and still living together.

    Why should adopted children be told that their situation is abnormal or weird or inferior because the parents who care for them aren't their biological parents? The children didn't choose to be adopted - nor did they choose to be adopted by a mixed-sex couple or a same-sex couple. Why shouldn't all children be encouraged by the school to love, honor, and feel good about their families? Why should some children be encouraged by the school to think their families are superior to those of their classmates and friends?

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  10. emissary: Let's say there's a little girls whose dad deserted her before she was born. Now her mom is trying to raise her by herself. We don't want to make her feel bad about having a "sub-optimal" home situation. But we also don't want to encourage her to follow in her mom's footsteps.

    Huh? You mean a little boy whose dad deserted his mom before he was born? How does it make sense to say that a girl shouldn't "follow in her mom's footsteps" by, er, not being abandoned by her partner? Or that the girl ought to feel that when she's an adult, if she gets pregnant and her partner abandons her, she ought to have an abortion, not emulate her mother by having her baby and bringing her child up? Or are you advocating that the little girl ought to believe her mom should have had her adopted - another situation that Fitz, in his comment, says schools should make clear is "sub-optimal" (and which Beetlebabee, though having adopted children, agrees is "well said").

    You're advocating that children whose parents are not a biological mom and dad, married to each other, ought not to respect, love, and honor their parents and families, and that schools especially should teach these children their families are "sub-optimal". And Beetlebabee, an adoptive parent, agrees that adopted children ought to be taught this by their schools?

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  11. Once again jesurgislac comments reveal the emotional grandstanding and strong-arm tactics that go under various rubrics like "family diversity" ..

    Yes: multiple family forms ARE sub-optimal. But no one is advocating a curriculum to teach these children that these families are sub-optimal.

    30 states have constitutional amendments that say marriage is between a man & a woman. Yet family advocates are not advancing a curriculum that teaches the inferiority of multiple other family forms.

    That’s because they are the tolerant ones.. For the sake of social peace and good education we don’t turn classrooms into indoctrination centers.

    Read jesurgislac comments above.. See the propensity to USE various broken family models as an excuse to push their agenda. See the USE of these children as political weapons….

    A polymorous or polygamous family could easily send its children to a public school. Under jesurgislac logic we would have to start teaching that that to is “just as good” otherwise we will be hurting the children…

    Shameless.

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  12. Fitz: Yes: multiple family forms ARE sub-optimal. But no one is advocating a curriculum to teach these children that these families are sub-optimal.

    KingFisher is advocating just that: you were agreeing with KF earlier: and Beetlebabee was agreeing with you.

    But, if you've changed your mind, good. Then you support people who say school should teach all children that all good families - whether they're single parents, adoptive parents, birth parents, step-parents - or mixed-sex or same-sex parents - are equal in value. And you oppose what KingFisher is saying, that children ought to be taught that any family that isn't parented by married, mixed-sex parents, is inferior.

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  13. Jesu Jesu Jesu. Where did logic go wrong with you?

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  14. Liberty Belle, if you have no sensible response to make, it might be more effective not to comment at all, rather than to indulge yourself in ad hom, even of that rather mild variety.

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  15. Actually Jesu, it's kind of fun watching Fitz there at work. You have to admit, he's got a point about your emotionalism.

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  16. Yeah, Beetlebabee. For some reason, I do get emotional about kids getting told by their teachers that their parents/their family are inferior. Given that his argument is that your adopted kids ought to be told that their family is inferior because you're not biologically their parents, I'm a little surprised that you're not getting emotional in their defense, but instead agreeing that your adopted kids ought to have their inferiority made clear to them. All the other adoptive parents I know care a very great deal about interfering adults trying to make their kids feel inferior because they're adopted: you're sort of the only exception I've ever encountered, even on the Internet.

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  17. Jesurgislac,

    This type of commentary is ripe with the blinding illogic of someone rather emotionally invested in a debate. Sensible response is neither possible nor expected when a debater speaks in personal opinion conclusions and spins tediously incomrehensible, exaggeratedly sentimental, and supremely unsupported comments.

    If you are a gay rights supporter, it is understandable that you are hurt by the Prop 8 outcome. However, in the last 48 hours you have dominated this blog with illogical commentary and now supercilious remarks aimed at other commentators. One now begins to ask oneself, "What is Jesurgislac trying so desperately to prove?" If it is love you seek, stay a while; love for diverse people abounds in this forum. If it is tolerance you want, then welcome. If it is a respectful exhange of opposing opinions, then comment away, but for the sake of readers, it is advisable that you attempt to express yourself in a more coherent manner. Incohesive, overly-emotional presentation is only detrimental to the expression of the opinion you hold so dear. We try very hard to be understanding, but ultimately it is not the responsibility of the reader to create sense out of the impassioned speech of the orator.

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  18. Jes,

    It makes logical sense that if the best place for kids is in a heterosexual marriage, that a school system should teach this fact. No one is suggesting that time be spent focusing on the "inferiority" of non-traditional families.

    As for your adoption comments, they continue to show your blatant and out of control emotionalism.

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  19. Jesurgislac,

    Those who oppose the teaching of homosexual acceptance in school do not promote the teaching of intolerance toward diverse families. It would seem that for you, the two are mutually exclusive. They are not. The argument is that we, as a society, should never stop urging citizens to strive for the ideal. And by accepting a non-ideal (gay marriage) as equal, that is the message we provide for future generations to navigate. Gay rights activists operate under the mantra that one should have whatever makes one happy ("Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happinness...."); however, a majority of social scientists and family scientists (and Founding Fathers) will readily agree that there are boundaries that must not be crossed because while the offense provides momentary gratification, it cannot produce lasting happinness. Children, in school and at home, should be taught that marriage between a man and a woman is the best possible family model for the greater societal good and for the physical, mental, and emotional development of future generations. And those children who come from alternative familial models should then be embraced and loved all the more for their disadvantage.

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  20. You know, some people are totally emotionally unstable through no fault of their own. I don't think anyone should pick on Jesurgislic for his/her emotional failings.

    You can't judge other people until you've walked a sweaty mile in their shoes. Maybe he/she can't help but post and post and post....

    and post.

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  21. KingFisher: Children, in school and at home, should be taught that marriage between a man and a woman is the best possible family model for the greater societal good and for the physical, mental, and emotional development of future generations.

    So you are, in fact, arguing that the children of same-sex couples ought to be taught that their parents, and their family, is an inferior family model. How is this not promoting intolerance among children towards diverse families?

    If you were arguing that children ought to be taught that Christianity is the ideal religion, wouldn't you agree that this is directly promoting intolerance towards Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, etc?

    And those children who come from alternative familial models should then be embraced and loved all the more for their disadvantage.

    How can you claim to "embrace and love children" while arguing that they ought to be taught that their families and their parents are inferior? Would you be able to say (not that I suppose for a minute you would) "We embrace and love Muslim children all the more for their 'disadvantage', but we promote Christianity in school because that's the ideal"?

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  22. Now see what I mean? I think it's insomnia.

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  23. Oh, and re the Anonymous comment (at December 17, 2008 1:33 AM): do you allow all anonymous ad hom attacks on other commenters at your blog? I have been (civilly, I think) arguing an opposing point of view to you and most of your commenters. I have tried to stick to the point and I have tried to be polite.

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  24. Please let's not whine about detractors, we all have to put up with them, you should know that best of all Jesu.

    How can you claim to "embrace and love children" while arguing that they ought to be taught that their families and their parents are inferior

    What do you mean by this?

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  25. If we're going to get into ad hominem attacks, I thought we ought to point out ALL of the Hominem family:

    An ad hominem fallacy is a genetic fallacy and red herring, and is most often (but not always) an appeal to emotion.

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  26. Liberty, I await KingFisher's ruling on this: if KF feels that these anonymous personal attacks are the standard of debate acceptable on this blog, I accept that it's their blog. But I see these as personal attacks rather than engaging in debate, because these comments are not to do with the topic at hand - the acceptance or otherwise of diverse families.

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  27. Liberty: What do you mean by this?

    I mean that the point of this post is that some kids are to be taught in school that their parents, and their families, are inferior. Kids love and respect their parents, and this is good and right: the idea that schools ought to lead a drive to try and make these kids see their parents as inferior and wrong, and feel themselves to be living in a "sub-optimal family", is profoundly hateful. Trying to make kids despise their parents is not something that you can do "lovingly".

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  28. Jesurgislac,

    The point of this post is not "that some kids are to be taught in school that their parents, and their families, are inferior." Nor is that what this community has inferred by comments here. While you are subject to your own, personal interpretation of any piece of literature, that doesn't necessarily mean that your interpretation is what the author intended to say. There is, in your commentary, a propensity to maliciously interpret any positive opinions to have negative meanings. The cup is half full here, not half empty, Jesurgislac. Teaching children to strive for an ideal does not translate to teaching children that their alternate families are "inferior."

    As for the "ad hominem" commentary; you're on your own there. You were the first to embark on that topic when you said, "Liberty Belle, if you have no sensible response to make, it might be more effective not to comment at all, rather than to indulge yourself in ad hom, even of that rather mild variety." Would you suggest that this blog develop an attitude of favoritism and render readers unable to defend personal attacks on them based on your declaration that, "because these comments are not to do with the topic at hand - the acceptance or otherwise of diverse families?"

    Frankly, Kingfisher is quite in agreement with Liberty Belle as to the overly-emotional, surprisingly spiteful interpretations (i.e. "Trying to make kids despise their parents is not something that you can do 'lovingly.'") you have assigned to a noble suggestion (i.e. teaching children to strive for the ideal).

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  29. There is a supreme disconnect between advocates of same-sex “marriage” and defenders of child welfare on the social science literature to date.

    This recent article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution By Jim Wooten called Yes, marriage matters to nurturing of children reminded me of various arguments I have had with recent posters here.

    "There can be no dispute that a society fully committed to the well-being of children would not condone a cultural trend that causes 71 percent of African-American, 50 percent of Hispanic and 28 percent of white babies —- those born out of wedlock —- to enter life disadvantaged."

    "Her analysis of research studies should put to rest all questions about what’s best for children. In virtually every study, weighing every variable —- family structure, age, income, race, education —- the evidence is overwhelming that children do better in families where married adults are rearing their biological children.“

    Very much like the effects of divorce on child and adult child wellbeing that accompanied the divorce revolution, we are at a point in the research were there are simply not enough solidly scientific studies availiable for serious scientists to come to a conclusion & consensus on the issue of same-sex parenting.

    I really wish same-sex “marriage” advocates were more knowledgeable about the state of this debate. Honest & Goodwill arguments have ceded many points relevant to both sides in this argument. Honest proponents need to go beyond the blanket assertions of professional organizations regarding the state of the science & approach the level of sophistication exercised by leading (goodwill) opponents on either side.

    Leading, qualified proponents of genderless marriage have acknowledged the validity of the good-science requirements, and also the validity of conclusion’s regarding the failure of the “no differences” studies.

    William Meezan & Jonathan Rauch, Gay Marriage, Same-Sex Parenting, and America’s Children, 15 FUTURE OF CHILD. 97, 104 (2005) (“We do not know how the normative child in a same-sex family compares with other children. . . . Those who say the evidence falls short of showing that same-sex parenting is equivalent to opposite- sex parenting (or better, or worse) are . . . right.”)
    Judith Stacey & Timothy J. Biblarz, (How) Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter?, 66 AM. SOC. REV. 159, 166 (2001).

    In that regard I offer some findings from the recent Iowa District Court courts decision on same-sex “marriage”. Certainly honest proponents of same-sex “marriage” could note that the very experienced advocates for same-sex “marriage” who argued before the State Court would be loathe to cede foundational arguments to the opposition if they were truly contested within social science.
    The Iowa State Court had noted that those advocating for same-sex “marriage” did not dispute, and frankly offered no evidence to contradict, two salient findings:

    1. "Social science literature demonstrates the children who are reared by a married natural mother and father have more positive outcomes in a wide variety of important factors compared to children in other adequately studied family structures- including single parent families, adopted families, step families, divorced families and the like (note – Courts, social scientists & advocates of same-sex “marriage” themselves concede that same-sex families have not been adequately studied so that solid conclusions can be made)”

    2. "Children reared in a stable natural married family are likely to do better on various measures of educational attainment; exhibit fewer behavioral problems, including conduct disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, and juvenile delinquency; will not be as likely to engage in criminal behavior as adults; engage in sexual relations as teenagers, and to experience an unwed pregnancy; have a decreased risk for mental/emotional illness; have a decreased risk of physical illness and infant mortality; experience decreased risk of suicide; have a greater life expectancy; likely to benefit from high levels of parental investment, commitment, and closeness (particularly with their fathers); be victims of physical and sexual abuse; experience higher levels of family stability as adults, including a decreased divorce risk."

    Varnum v. Brien, No. CV 5965 (Iowa Dist. Ct. Mar. 15, 2007),

    So we know that married intact natural families are the gold standard. This fact has scientific consensus. Same-sex parenting lacks a scientific consensus because there simply are not enough good studies on which to base a conclusion.

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  30. As for the "ad hominem" commentary; you're on your own there.


    Well, your blog, your rules. I'll update my post linking to your blog to make clear you welcome ad hom, irrelevant, anonymous attacks on other commenters.

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  31. Jesu, I also notice Kingfisher allows you to post still, so the ground seems quite secure.

    My mother taught me "If you can't say something nice....think harder!"

    Fitz, Thanks for your comment. I appreciate bringing up the fact that on it's face, there are inequalities between parenting situations. Choices matter, all choices aren't inherently equal. It's a system of good, better, best. Married, intact, natural families are the gold standard for a reason. Adoption is the best option in cases where families have broken down and the gold standard can't be had. I personally have adopted older children and know of the wounds they've had to overcome. It is not the best situation for a kid to go through.

    The difference between adoption and same gender parenting is that one denies by design, and the other is attempting to repair by design.

    Adoption was similar to same sex unions at one time, with quite a bit of social stigma. It has had to overcome many hurdles in the last 100 years, but at this time, growing a gold standard family through adoption is very much accepted as healthy, for good reasons.

    I would challenge gay "marriage" proponents who wish to automatically equate family forms to go through the rigors of public acceptance that adoption has. Let the scientists do their studies unimpeded. The truth will come out and if gay marriage is healthy and wonderful, then the people can choose and make an informed, right decision.

    Browbeating and judicial activism is just not the way to go about it.

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  32. Jesurgislac,

    This threat of Kingfisher defamation is a weak lamb's bleat into the mouth of a giant. Threaten all you like, link all you like. You are allowed to continue commenting here because what you provide for marriage debate fence-sitters is priceless - the true, illogical, sentimental, grasping face of traditional family opposition. While others in this forum are cohesively expressing thoughts and opinions, most backed by a plethora of social science research, you have successfully represented the foot-stomping, intentionally misunderstanding, emotionally driven gay rights community that coins and champions stirring, empty rhetoric. And when your assertions are picked apart by logic and reason, you resort to pointing fingers and issuing belittling threats. Please. Do continue.

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  33. Now, moving on....

    Fitz,

    Your sharing of research is welcomed and appreciated. Your line-up of research which has been validated and agreed to by same-sex marriage proponent researchers is vital and especially significant to this debate on ideals. You have shown here that it is agreed upon, across the board, by researchers in-the-know on both sides of the fence, that marriage between a man and a woman is the gold standard for the development of children. This agreement sends a strong message to those who would intentionally mutilate that gold standard by substituting alternate combinations of numbers and letters into the equation so that it can never yield the correct answer again.

    BeetleBabee,

    This line is impeccable:

    "The difference between adoption and same gender parenting is that one denies by design, and the other is attempting to repair by design."

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