Matt Walsh is wrong about whether LGBT couples should not be allowed to adopt children. It’s no secret that he thinks homosexuals are perverted sinners, so it’s no surprise that (after thoughtful deliberation, I’m sure) he has also decided that LGBT couples should not be allowed to adopt.
“Gay activists argue for their parenting rights not based on any scientific analysis, or any cogent constitutional claim, and certainly not on what’s best for the child, but simply on what’s best for them, personally … Gay couples do not have a right to be parents, because kids are not property or fashion statements …”
Walsh says it’s the children who have rights — rights “to a mom and dad”, rights which are violated when society allows unstable, disloyal homosexuals to adopt them. Indeed, he goes so far as to say that just the fact of having LGBT parents means children are being “sacrificed at the altar of liberalism” and “used and abused and manipulated”.
Walsh is correct that children have rights, similar to the ones everyone else has. And, we all hope that children have a loving home and loving parents. Matt is also right that providing children a stable, loving, two-parent home is the statistically ideal for kids, parents, and the community. However, he is misguided when he argues that those parents must be a man and a woman. Unsurprisingly, he makes false and uninformed assumptions about the relationships of LGBT people to bolster his argument.
“Whatever (heterosexual) divorce rates say, the fact is that gay couples, particularly men, are very often not monogamous. Although infidelity occurs among straight couples, in the gay community it is part of the lifestyle.”
Ignoring the incredibly ignorant ad hominem attack on gay couples, Walsh is simply wrong that LGBT parents cannot provide a stable and loving home. He ignores the fact that there are happy LGBT homes literally everywhere in America, and he somehow has the erroneous idea that kids who were raised in LGBT homes are speaking up against it as adults en masse.
“Many children of gay parents have come out of their own closet, so to speak, free from the pressure to pretend everything is fine, and finally able to cry out against the notion that kids can do just as well with two mothers or two fathers.”
As a matter of fact, the people whom he has used as examples of children speaking up against their LGBT homes were not adopted by LGBT parents. They were people who had one biological parent who “came out” as LGBT, an event which is, understandably, often dramatic and difficult for families. (And, frankly, that’s all the more reason for not putting cultural or legal pressure on gay people to stay in the closet or have opposite-sex marriages.) He can’t make the point he wants to make using the people he picked as examples. They were not adopted by gay couples. They were not in need of a home. They were previously in a two-parent family before one of their parents came out of the closet and started a new relationship. Their problem is not the new relationship’s ratio of men to women, it’s the trauma of the end of the old relationship. Matt also does not seem to understands that, just like opposite-sex homes, not every same-sex home is the same. Nor does Matt acknowledge that, unlike in his examples, in an adoption situation the agencies and social workers involved thoroughly investigate the homes before deeming them suitable for children. In short, if he had argued that some LGBT homes were not suitable for children, he’d be correct. Then, if he’d erase LGBT and argue that some homes generally are not suitable for children, he’d be so correct that we could all just stop arguing about this and we’d get write a post about how Matt Walsh is right about something, finally.
Finally, Matt is wrong about the “science” from which he has cherry-picked his evidence. He quotes Yale professor Kyle Pruett — who himself has said that anti-gay activists are guilty of cherry-picking from his work, and who in fact, has never done any studies on homosexual parenting since his focus is on divorce and single parenthood. His work studies children who have had their own nuclear families torn apart and are now being raised by one parent, not kids with no families who are up for adoption.
Matt cites Pruett when argues that:
“Mothers and fathers play differently, communicate differently, prepare the children for life differently, take risks differently, and look at the world differently. These are not just assumptions, but cold, hard, indisputable scientific facts, backed by years of research and millenniums of human experience.”
Let’s be charitable and assume that Walsh just doesn’t know about the 2012 Salon interview in which Pruett says that the difference between mothers and fathers are not “rooted in chromosomes”. Pruett said, “I think they’re rooted in culture. There are many same sex couples that divide up tasks in the way that heterosexual couples do. … The work of Charlotte Patterson and others has said we don’t need to be especially worried about these children. They’re doing fine. So let’s pay attention to the children we know we have to worry about, the children of the poor or vulnerable single parent.” Simply put: Matt, that science you’re appealing to? It doesn’t say what you seem to think it says.
The rest of Matt’s supposed scientific rationale also falls flat. The research he links to is from unabashedly Christian organizations such as IONA. There’s nothing inherently wrong with religious organizations doing research, but it must be taken with a grain of salt. Or in this case, with ocean’s worth of it. As a current student of biology and psychology, one of the first things I learned to watch out for in research is confirmation bias. Confirmation bias occurs when a researcher erroneously interprets data to confirm his or her own pre-existing beliefs. It can ruin experiments by causing a researcher to use improper procedures or to analyze or present data improperly. Confirmation bias means the researcher — usually unintentionally — looks only for what she or he was expecting to find and stops looking when she or he thinks it has been found. Matt clearly understands that this might be an objection, since he makes a point of saying that gay activists have conducted their own research that he assumes must be flawed.
“The researchers advertised their study in gay publications and forums, selected volunteers who knew what was being studied and why, and then interviewed the parents about how their children were doing … most of them [the parents] reported that everything was peachy and their lifestyles have not been detrimental at all.”
If we were going to discount the research Matt doesn’t like, we should also use his reasoning to discount the research he does like.
So, what does the science actually show? Have there been any studies from unbiased researchers? Yes, indeed! A meta-analysis (a study of studies, basically) from researchers at Michigan State University examined 19 studies and concluded that, “Results confirm previous studies in this current body of literature, suggesting that children raised by same-sex parents fare equally well to children raised by heterosexual parents.” Children raised by same-sex parents are not any better or worse-off than children raised in opposite-sex homes.
There are so many children without families who need homes, and there are an abundance of stable, loving families — same-sex and opposite-sex alike — which are ready to take these children in. Matt Walsh should stop attempting to deny these kids their right to a loving home.