LGBT

Santorum: Adopting Children Is A ‘Privilege’ That Gay People Aren’t Entitled To

ThinkProgress filed this report from Iowa City, Iowa.

During an appearance before the FAMiLY Leader yesterday morning, potential presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (R) argued that children who are raised in a household with two heterosexual parents were typically better off than those raised in single households or by gay people. “Sure single parenthood will get you there most of the time,” he admitted, “but it just isn’t as good. It just isn’t as good as having a mom and a dad.” Santorum said that parenting was a “privilege” that some people — especially gay people — were not entitled to:

SANTORUM: Can you have good stock, solid family with a single parent? Yes you can…if you were getting on an airplane and you had a choice between two of them and one airplane would get you there 95 percent of the time and the other plane would get you there 85 percent of the time. What plane would you take?

[…]

A lesbian woman came up to me and said, ‘why are you denying me my right?’ I said, ‘well, because it’s not a right.’ It’s a privilege that society recognizes because society sees intrinsic value to that relationship over any other relationship.

Watch it:

Despite Santorum’s assertions, research suggests that two loving gay parents are actually better for children than a single parent. “Scholars, at USC and New York University, looked at a range of existing studies, including research on gay and lesbian parents, finding that it’s ideal if a child is raised by two parents who are ‘responsible, committed, stable,’ but that the gender doesn’t cause radical differences.” As sociologist Timothy Biblarz of the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences points out:

Significant policy decisions have been swayed by the misconception across party lines that children need both a mother and a father. Yet, there is almost no social science research to support this claim. One problem is that proponents of this view routinely ignore research on same-gender parents. The bottom line is that the science shows that children raised by two same-gender parents do as well on average as children raised by two different-gender parents. This is obviously inconsistent with the widespread claim that children must be raised by a mother and a father to do well.

During a press availability following the speech, Santorum grew agitated when pressed by the Iowa Independent’s Lynda Waddington on why he was so hard on single parents. “The data says society and children are better when we have stable families and stable marriages,” he said. He did not extend the same logic to gay couples, however, saying, “I think children need mothers and fathers.” Watch that exchange here.