Parental Equality: Study Finds Kids Raised by Same-Sex Parents Do Equally Well as Those with Straight Parents

A study published Monday in BMJ Global Health found that children with gay, lesbian, transgender or other sexual minority parents fare as well as, or better than, children with parents of the opposite sex. Researchers concluded that Parents’ sexual orientation is not an important factor of children’s development, based on an analysis of 34 studies published between 1989 and April 2022 carried out in countries that legally recognize same-sex relationships. According to a recent article in Forbes, these findings contradict common but unsupported arguments against equal marriage and adoption as a growing number of states enact laws curtailing LGBT+ rights.

Major Findings and Recommendations

The study measured outcomes in a number of areas including physical health, education, psychological adjustment and child-parent relationships. According to the Forbes article, the researchers suggested growing up with sexual minority parents “may confer some advantages to children,” possibly because they are more “tolerant of diversity and more nurturing towards younger children” than heterosexual parents.

While children fared equally or better than their peers with heterosexual parents,  researchers warned there are significant risks associated with being part of a sexual minority family such as social stigma, discrimination and poor social support. The report’s authors called on policymakers and legislators to give families better legal protections, social support and access to community services like schools.

How These Findings Align with Ohio Families and Proposed Legislation

According to recent census data, Ohio ranks as a top 10 state for the most same-sex households. President Biden signed the bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act in December 2022, which codified into law protections for same-sex and interracial couples.

This means that LGBTQ+ couples can adopt; however Ohio GOP legislatures have rejected updating Ohio law to note that.

Ohio governor Mike Dewine has proposed multiple initiatives that he believes will make Ohio family friendly. However, LGBTQ+ advocates warn that recent anti-LGBTQ+ legislation proposed in the Ohio legislature undercuts that message and creates an unwelcoming and sometimes dangerous environment for LGBTQ+ families and children.

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