New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan — who led the charge against same-sex marriage in the state — has written a letter to President Obama urging him to stop “attacking” the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act — which prohibits the federal government from recognizing gay and lesbian couples. In the letter, Dolan argues that Obama’s decision not to defend the 1996 law undermines his commitment to parenting and children:
Mr. President, your Administration‟s actions against DOMA and the values it stands for contrast sharply with your excellent Mother‟s Day and Father‟s Day proclamations issued earlier this year, which are also referenced in the attached analysis. In these perceptive and heartening statements, you correctly emphasize the critical role played by both a mom and a dad in a child‟s life, and you rightly call upon society to do all it can to uphold both mothers and fathers.
I know that you treasure the importance that you and the First Lady, separately and as a couple, share in the lives of your children. The Mother‟s Day and Father‟s Day proclamations display a welcome conviction on your part that neither a mom nor a dad is expendable. I believe therefore that you would agree that every child has the right to be loved by both a mother and a father.
Dolan’s argument appears unfounded, however. A range of existing studies, including research on gay and lesbian parents, have found that while it’s ideal for a child to be raised by two parents, the parents’ gender doesn’t cause radical differences. The American Psychological Association has also concluded that “beliefs that lesbian and gay adults are not fit parents have no empirical foundation. Lesbian and heterosexual women have not been found to differ markedly in their approaches to child rearing.”
Read the full letter here.