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Same-sex marriage bans are under heavy fire
Courts » Filings at the appeals court range from Republican politicians to states and social scientists.

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Nationwide, more than 220,000 children are living in same-sex households, according to 2012 American Community Survey data. The association said studies show children raised by gay and lesbian parents do just as well as children of different-sex parents on a variety of measures, including academic performance, cognitive development, social development, psychological health and substance abuse.

"Unsubstantiated fears regarding same-sex parents do not overcome these facts and provide no justification for upholding the marriage bans," the group said. "We should encourage stable and financially secure family units — including same-sex parent families — rather than exclude the hundreds of thousands of children living with same-sex couples from the stability and economic security that marriage provides."

At a glance

State gets last word

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to extend the deadline for Utah to file its final response in its appeal to March 11. Oral arguments are set for April 10 in Denver.

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That point of view was echoed in a brief filed jointly by the American Psychological Association and the Utah Psychological Association, which said that the consensus of mainstream mental health professionals and researchers is that homosexuality and bisexuality are normal expressions of human sexuality and pose no obstacles to a happy, healthy and productive life.

Children raised by parents who are providing them with "loving guidance in the context of secure home environments are likely to show more positive adjustment, regardless of their parents’ sexual orientation," the groups said.

The American Sociological Association said findings of some studies cited by the states "draw inappropriate apples-to-oranges comparisons," do not address same-sex parents at all or mischaracterize findings. Some studies looked at stepparents, single parents and adoptive parents; one even looked at children of sperm donors.

The association said authors of one study cited by the states have "explicitly" disclaimed use of their findings to bolster the idea that different-sex parents are better. Both the sociological and psychology groups criticized a 2012 study of child outcomes by Mark Regnerus, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. The American Sociological Association said Regnerus’ study was discredited by a group of more than 100 social scientists for failing to account for family structure and family instability; a second study done that same year was equally flawed, the association said.

On Monday, as Regnerous prepared to testify in a Michigan court case, the chair of the university’s sociology department issued a statement distancing itself from his views. The school’s College of Liberal Arts issued a similar statement in February.


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