There was an article posted on cnn.com recently that I think is worth mentioning here on my blog and certainly worth the read.
Patty Onderko, author of this article and gay mother of three year old twin boys, makes the point that she has realized over the five year marriage between her and her partner Em that they aren’t sensational or worthy of remarks, but rather “just the New Normal.”
I love this idea of the New Normal. This is exactly what gay parenting is and the statistics agree, showing that there are approximately 1 million gay families raising approximately 2 million children in the United States.
This article also cites research that I have used previously on my blog that shows that children of lesbian mothers had fewer behavioral problems and better school performance than their peers with straight parents and Nanette Gartrell, M.D., the lead researcher in this study, explains why such results are not surprising, and a reason that I personally advocate for gay parenting today:
“The children we studied were highly desired,” she says. “They didn’t result from a broken condom or too much alcohol. Their parents worked hard to have them and didn’t take the privilege of having kids lightly. They took parenting classes and educated themselves. That’s what makes for a good outcome, no matter what the family structure. They built strong communities for their families from the beginning.”
Onderko argues that these statistics do not show that children raised by gay parents are any better than those raised by straight parents but that these children “are totally, boringly normal…” and “that’s a salient argument against those who think that having gay parents is patently unhealthy for children.”
The article goes on to show both the hardships facing gay parents today and the shifting opinion of Americans towards favoring gay parenting. In the end, Onderko makes the point that it is the unifying ground of being a parent that is shifting Americans’ opinions to being pro-gay parenting. All parents face the same issues, no matter their sexual orientation.
Parents are parents, and that is the New Normal.