The AAP concludes that it is in the best interests of children that they be able to partake in the security of permanent nurturing and care that comes with the civil marriage of their parents, without regard to their parents’ gender or sexual orientation.
“Permanent nurturing and care that comes with civil marriage”?!? As a single parent and a survivor of an abusive marriage I find this claim offensive on two grounds: Nurturing and care is neither limited to marriage nor is it guaranteed by a marriage certificate.
In their summary, AAP includes
A great deal of scientific research documents there is no cause-and-effect relationship between parents’ sexual orientation and children’s well-being, according to the AAP policy. […] Critical factors that affect the normal development and mental health of children are parental stress, economic and social stability, community resources, discrimination, and children’s exposure to toxic stressors at home or in their communities — not the sexual orientation of their parents.
There is also no scientific evidence that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between parents marital status and children’s well-being. That conclusion is something that single parents have long tried to debunk – and I find it very disturbing that it now comes back up under the guise of progressive policy. As I have pointed out before, there’s not much progressive about marriage, at least as an institution.
Rather than endorsing marriage as a panacea how about designing ways that truly ensure children’s well-being? The Canadian Law Commission came up with an approach to just that years ago (and were promptly disbanded): Look at what the underlying goals are – ensuring normal development and mental health of children – and then determining the best way we can ensure that in all families, not just certain constellations. Otherwise, we’re leaving all the children who aren’t in certain kinds of families out in the cold – hardly nurturing and caring!
If you agree that the AAP needs to be much more careful when they are endorsing same-sex marriage, you can sign Unmarried Equality‘s petition, even though that, too, seems to leave out some parents and thus children – those who aren’t being raised by a couple. I think that “all parents deserve the same recognition and benefits as any others, regardless of whether or not they are” coupled (instead of “married”). That would have endorsed even more equality.