I don’t usually respond to drivel from the ultra-right, but this one got to me. The Washington Times, in an article titled “Growing Up Confused,” reported Sunday on the memoir “Out From Under: The Impact of Homosexual Parenting,” by Dawn Stefanowicz. Stefanowicz is the daughter of a gay father who was married to her mother. She says that because of her father’s sexual orientation, she “experienced insecurity, depression, anxiousness, sleeplessness and sexuality confusion, and her psychological well-being and peer relationships were affected.”
Stefanowicz has been speaking up for the ultra-right for several years now. The book itself reads like a text for the Family Research Council, whose vice president for policy, Peter Sprigg says “It’s a very moving, brutally honest, first-person account of what it is like to grow up with a homosexual parent.” Perhaps one of them, but let’s not overgeneralize here.
The Washington Times relates:
[Stefanowicz] “thinks that monogamy is not typical in gay relationships. . . . Mrs. Stefanowicz’s father, president and owner of his own executive recruiting service, wanted the normality he thought marriage could bring, using it as a cover for his homosexual lifestyle, she said. He brought her along to gay meeting spots and porn shops, though she was still a child, and introduced her to explicit sexual practices and exposed her to the health risks of the gay lifestyle, she said.
Ugh. The article uses Stefanowicz’s individual experience to give voice to the likes of Sprigg and Arthur Goldberg, secretary for the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). The paper does quote Steve Ralls, director of communications for PFLAG, who says:
There is no evidence in the research to support a general claim that same-sex couples cannot raise children. In fact, exactly the opposite is true. There are many children who grow up in heterosexual households who are abused and unhappy. We won’t use those cases to say that heterosexual parents wouldn’t make good parents. We shouldn’t apply that here.
Still, the overall article is very skewed towards the right, not surprising to those who know the paper. A balanced article on the children of LGBT parents should have quoted from the many respected professional organizations who have studied the matter. It could have cited Abigail Garner’s Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is, another treasure of stories and information, compiled by the daughter of gay dads. What I like best about Garner’s work is that while her message is unequivocal in its support of LGBT parents, it does not gloss over the difficulties our children may face in coming out about their families to friends, dealing with an initial feeling of betrayal if a parent comes out later in life, and the like. These are problems generated by society, however, not by the fact of the parent’s sexual orientation.
The Washington Times needs to realize that by publishing such a biased article, it distorts the truth about the majority of LGBT parents. The harm of that is not only to us, but also to our children.