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Experience, research refute arguments of same-sex opponents

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In bulletin inserts he had distributed throughout his diocese, Bishop Richard J. Malone of Portland, Maine, called same-sex marriage "a dangerous sociological experiment," insisting that allowing gays to wed somehow threatens traditional marriage. He said that legalizing "same-sex marriage can negatively impact children in several ways."

Ann Lemire of South Portland, called Malone's assertion as "scare tactics" and "untrue."

"Someone who loves them and guides them -- that's what is important" for children, said Lemire, a physician and a former nun. "I happen to know wonderful same-sex couples who are parents, and the children are wonderful, too."

One wonders if Malone has met any same-sex couples, good parents, who wish to marry?

Could he have missed the witness of Yolande Dumont, a life-long devoutly Catholic grandmother who has appeared on TV ads statewide?

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Dumont explains to viewers, "My son is a good man in a loving, committed relationship. He and his partner have created a loving home for my youngest grandchild."

In urging Mainers to vote "No on 1," she says, "Marriage is a great institution -- it works and it's what I want for my children too."

While these are personal experiences and anecdotal, social science research is finding that no harm comes children raised by gay or lesbian parents.

"Gay and lesbian parents are doing just fine and look very similar to straight parents in terms of mental health, parental warmth, and the kinds of parenting attitudes and values," said Abbie G. Goldberg, an assistant professor of psychology at Clark University, located in Worcester, Mass.

She is the author of, Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children: Research on the Family Life Cycle, the first-book length review and analysis of research on parenting by same-sex couples and their families, published last Sept., by the American Psychological Association.

[A frequent contributor to NCR, Chuck Colbert freelance journalist from Cambridge, Mass.]

Back to the main story: In Maine, same-sex marriage is a Catholic issue

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August 15-28, 2014

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