Friday, July 22, 2011

Family Research Council Caught In Lie, Responds With More Lies

During Wednesday's DOMA repeal hearings Senator Al Franken called out Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family for misrepresenting a Health and Human Services study about family structure and children's health and well being. Well the Family Research Council wasn't too happy about that, and responded:
"Homosexual activists are gloating over an exchange Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) had with Tom Minnery (of Focus on the Family affiliate CitizenLink) at yesterday's hearing on a bill to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Minnery had cited a December 2010 federal study which showed that children raised in a "nuclear family" have better health outcomes. Franken, however, triumphantly noted that a 'nuclear family' was defined (in part) as one headed by 'two parents who are married to one another'--not two opposite-sex parents. But did Franken forget the law he wants to repeal? DOMA says, 'In determining the meaning of . . . any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States , the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.' 
Since this was a federal study published by a federal agency based on a federal survey conducted by federal (Census Bureau) employees, its definition of 'married' is bound by DOMA. Even if, by chance, the interviewers or authors violated that law, the survey data was collected from 2001 to 2007. During that time (and only from mid-2004 on) there was only one state (Massachusetts) in which homosexual couples could 'marry.' The vast majority of homosexual couples raising children fall in the categories of 'unmarried biological or adoptive family,' 'blended family,' or 'cohabiting family'--all of which have poorer outcomes for children than the traditional 'nuclear family.'
 This would be a pretty good take down of Senator Franken, except that Debra Blackwell, lead author of the study, has said that Franken was correct:
" 'Sen. Franken is right,' the lead author of the study told POLITICO. The survey did not exclude same-sex couples, said Debra L. Blackwell, Ph.D., nor did it exclude them from the 'nuclear family' category provided their family met the study’s definition. 
The study’s definition of nuclear family is: 'one or more children living with two parents who are married to one another and are each biological or adoptive parents of all the children in the family.' 
That means the study does not provide evidence that straight couples’ children necessarily fare better than same-sex couples’ kids, as Minnery claimed."
The sad thing is that there is some grain of truth in what the FRC said about gay couples not being able to be married and thus not being counted. I'd imagine that there weren't remotely as many same-sex couples surveyed by the study as opposite-sex couples, and certainly not enough to make any concrete conclusions from the data. But this just points to the reality that children in families headed by same-sex couples are being disadvantaged by laws like DOMA and other anti-equality measures. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if these groups really cared about children and families they would want to ensure that all children in all families receive all the benefits of having two legally married parents.

No comments:

Post a Comment