Neuhaus on Gay Adoption

Theocon-in-chief, Richard John Neuhaus, just wrote the following paragraph about gay adoption - with reference to Catholic Charities in Boston - on his blog:

"The Church says it has 'rules' that preclude the gay placements. What has not appeared anywhere is a reasoned case that such placements are bad for the children, and it is the interest of the children that must come first. (For a critical survey of the studies and arguments relative to placing children with homosexual couples, see cosmos-liturgy-sex.) The claim that 50 or 60 percent of children reared by male homosexuals turn out to be homosexual or bisexual doesn't cut any ice in some quarters. So what's wrong with being homosexual or bisexual? And, if the incidence of sexual abuse of children in such settings is many times the norm, well, isn't it time we reconsider the legitimacy of intergenerational love?"

There are two empirical claims here: that 50 - 60 percent children reared by gay male couples end up gay; and that children brought up by gay parents are many times more likely to be sexually abused. These charges are extremely serious ones. There have been many studies of gay parenting and I summarize and present some of them in my own anthology on same-sex marriage.Anthology2 Many suffer from small sample sizes and woolly, subjective judgments of children's functioning. My own conclusion is that, while none show any harm to children of any kind, the methodologies do not allow for firm conclusions either way.

So where does Neuhaus get his inflammatory claims? The only link Neuhaus provides is to a far-right Catholic website which in turn relies on a separate review published by Pat Robertson's "Regent University" of 36 studies of gay parenting. 35 of the 36 "concluded that children from same-sex parents were not adversely affected," which is what the consensus largely is. One study alone provided the statistics Neuhaus relies on. That study is by our old friend, Paul Cameron, who has a long history of studies designed to perpetuate anti-gay bigotry, and who has not been a member in good standing of the American Psychological Association since 1983. To give you an idea of Cameron's work, read this piece by Mark Pietryzk. It will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. The Regent University review Neuhaus relies on concludes that even in the Cameron study, "as with the rest, the sample size was not sufficiently large" to permit any solid conclusions. Let's be specific here: the sample that Neuhaus relies upon comprises seventeen children raised by one or two gay parents.

Neuhaus is a highly intelligent person. He knows that his slurs against gay parents cannot be substantiated, which is why he tosses these claims out there to see if they can stick. He also knows that he is perpetuating some of the vilest slanders against gay people: that we "recruit" children and molest them. It is the same blood-libel once used against Jews. This is the man who has advised George W. Bush on gay issues and helped craft his gay policies. Now you begin to understand why they are what they have become.