Target: The American College of Pediatricians (ACP)
Goal: Stop the misuse of a biased study in arguments defending the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman
In September 1996, President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) into law, federally defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Recently, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi and 132 other House Democrats have filed a brief arguing that DOMA is unconstitutional. Now, another brief has been filed by a conservative group called the American College of Pediatricians in defense of DOMA, citing as evidence a study published by sociologist Mark Regnerus which compares children from intact heterosexual marriages to children from families where one of the parents had had a same-sex relationship at one point, concluding that children in the latter category tend to not fare as well.
The study, sponsored by two different conservative organizations, uses a loaded classification system: rather than looking at children who were raised from birth or early childhood by same-sex couples, it looks almost exclusively at children with separated parents or parents who have had same-sex affairs. Only 23% of children surveyed said they had spent at least 3 years living in the same household with their mother and her same-sex partner, and less than 2% had spent the same amount of time living with their father and his same-sex partner.
In the ACP’s brief, it appears that the study simply compared children of heterosexual couples to those of homosexual ones, inferring that children of homosexual couples are doomed from the start. Do not allow this biased and misinterpreted study to be used against marriage equality by asking the ACP to revise or revoke its brief.
Dear American College of Pediatricians,
I am writing to ask that you revise or redact the brief you recently issued in federal court in defense of the Defense of Marriage Act. Your interpretation of Mark Regenrus’ “New Family Structures Study” made it out that children of committed homosexual parents naturally tend to do more poorly than those of married heterosexual parents when in reality, most children surveyed came from households where their original parents were either separated or had engaged in affairs. This skewed survey data produced skewed results which should not be presented as fair and natural facts in a court of law.
Please act to either revise or redact your brief to more accurately reflect the data uncovered in the study. The “New Family Structures Study” is not an accurate representation of homosexual men and women’s capacity to raise children, and should not be treated or interpreted as such.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Flickr via Poes In Boots