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Lisa Sethre-Hofstad, Moorhead, Published June 03 2013

Letter: A stable home is a major factor

In a recent letter to the editor, the writer suggests that the vote for marriage equality in Minnesota was “selfish because the desires of adults outweighed the interests of children.” What are the interests of children, and how do we promote their well-being? A stable home life with parents who love, care for and nurture them has been shown time and again in research to promote the well-being of children.

Development of a healthy attachment, access to adequate resources and the opportunity to develop and grow in a safe community has been shown to promote the well-being of children. Access to high-quality schools, proper nutrition and exercise and non-parental adults who care about their lives has been shown to promote the well-being of children. And, when it comes to children who have parents who are gay or lesbian, research shows that these children are equally likely to develop a healthy gender identity, positive gender roles, healthy self-esteem, positive emotional well-being and high-quality friendships when compared to children whose parents are heterosexual.

The notion that children need “biological” or “opposite sex” parents in order to develop respect for the other gender, or to develop a healthy sense of what it means to be a man or a woman, is both outdated and inaccurate.

I understand that marriage equality is harder for some people to accept than for others, but when it comes to thinking about the issue and the effects on children, we must be sure we are reflecting on what the research actually says on the matter.