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Posts tagged ‘Parenting’

Worst argument against marriage equality EVER

I think we should file this under the “You can’t make this up” category (emphasis added):

WASHINGTON — Marriage should be limited to unions of a man and a woman because they alone can “produce unplanned and unintended offspring,” opponents of gay marriage have told the Supreme Court.

By contrast, when same-sex couples decide to have children, “substantial advance planning is required,” said Paul D. Clement, a lawyer for House Republicans.

This unusual defense of traditional marriage was set out last week in a pair of opening legal briefs in the two gay marriage cases to be decided by the Supreme Court this spring.

This argument from shotgun wedding pretty much shows how opponents of marriage have no real arguments. That’s why they’ve come up with an argument that actually comes up with a reason to support same–sex marriage. Also juxtapose how many of those who oppose marriage equality also attack Planned Parenthood and seek to restrict access to abortion and contraception.

The apparently disturbing thing about this argument is that it has been used before and apparently accepted by some US court.

Via Lawyers, Guns, and Money.

Spanking causes mental illness in kids

A new study suggests that substance abuse and depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders are more common in children who were physically punished (without meeting the legal definition of child abuse).

From the abstract:

Harsh physical punishment in the absence of child maltreatment is associated with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance abuse/dependence, and personality disorders in a general population sample. These findings inform the ongoing debate around the use of physical punishment and provide evidence that harsh physical punishment independent of child maltreatment is related to mental disorders.

If you can’t beat the shit out of your own child who can you beat the shit out of?

CBC reports on a new study to be published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that physical punishment of children (such as spanking) has severe negative health consequences, and that the exemption in the Criminal Code that allows it should be repealed. The issue of spanking was covered by the Supreme Court in 2004, which allowed the exemption to stand.

Children who have experienced physical punishment tend to be more aggressive toward parents, siblings, peers and, later, spouses, and are more likely to develop antisocial behaviour, said Joan Durrant, of the department of family social sciences at the University of Manitoba and Ron Ensom of Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa.

Physical punishment is also associated with a variety of mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and use of drugs and alcohol.


They noted that when parents in more than 500 families were trained to reduce their use of physical punishment, the difficult behaviours in the children also declined.


Although working to outlaw spanking is the correct move, one shouldn’t focus so much on corporal punishment that one neglects to target other forms of child abuse. There are destructive things that parents can do to their kids that don’t involve any hitting. For example, Clarissa has mentioned force–feeding. Another example is arbitrarily denying healthcare.

The title of this post is taken from a comment by Jake Squid at an old Pandagon thread.

More random stuff

In no particular order:

  • Leon Panetta, the American Secretary of Defense, has signed a certification to formally end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (via).
    • And bigots, the sky hasn’t fallen.
  • More proof that correlation does not equal causation, or why emptying your spam folder is good for the economy (via).
  • Someone Rick Perry respects is strongly urging him not to run for president.
    • Too bad Michele Bachman, Herman Cain, and Rick Santorum didn’t get the message.
  • There were terrorist attacks in Norway, and several people have been killed. My condolences.
  • This is so sad. “Half of US Social Program Recipients Believe They ‘Have Not Used A Government Social Program’“. The ignorance, I can see it.
  • Team Japan won the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Congratulations to them. A major morale booster after their devastating earthquake.
    • As my own team did not play like CONCACAF champs, I’ll admit to cheering for the US.
    • The game was also the most tweeted event in history.
  • Update: Negative aspects of and problems with gender stereotypes.

Lesbian parents don’t abuse children

A new, open access study published in Archives of Sexual Behavior has the finding that children of lesbian mothers are not abused by their parents (via).

Not like we needed any more evidence that lesbians are just as good at parenting as heterosexual couples.

Florida court upholds striking down of LGBT adoption ban

A Florida court has upheld an earlier decision from 2008 that struck down that state’s law banning adoption by same–sex couples (hat tip).

This is the correct decision. It benefits children because they can now have real parents. Families headed by same–sex couples are more democratic (cite, source in Spanish). Same–sex couples are just as good at parenting as different–sex couples (cite, cite, cite, cite, cite, cite). With all these studies in hand, ignorance is no longer an excuse. Only a cold, callous, stone–hearted bigot could continue to oppose this law, therefore preferring children to be in foster care or orphanages rather than with loving, capable parents.

What the “family values” people do to families

Vanessa and Melanie Alenier are a lesbian couple from Florida. In January 2009, a relative of Vanessa gave birth to a boy and put him up for adoption. The Florida Department of Children and Families reported to the boy’s relatives that he would be put into foster care unless a relative stepped forward and adopted him. Vanessa and Melanie did the paperwork, appeared in court, and adopted the boy. They took him home when he was nine days old.

But guess what; LGBT people are forbidden from adopting in Florida. I’ll quote Vanessa and Melanie to continue:

Since his birth in January 2009 we have been fighting the state of Florida every step of the way to prove to them that we are deserving parents of this wonderful child. Not only that, but that he is deserving of our home as well. The 1977 ban is so black and white that those who continue to support it cannot see beyond its walls of homophobia. The road we have endured over the last year and a half has been filled with home visits by DCF once a month, home visits by the Guardian Ad Litem once a month, court hearings, trials, and many hours of e–mails and meetings with our lawyers Alan Mishael and Elizabeth Schwartz. It took several months to finally be heard in our trial for adoption which occurred November 2009. Our wonderful judge, Maria Iglesia–Sampedro, ruled that the law was unconstitutional and granted our adoption in that trial. However, it took DCF until January 2010 to submit all proper documentation in order for the judge to sign off on the adoption. DCF then had 30 days to decide whether to appeal, which DCF did.  Since February 2010 we have been moving forward to defend in the appellate court the trial court’s decision that the ban is unconstitutional as to every gay man and woman in the State of Florida. If we win there, our case may then go to the Florida Supreme Court.

Fighting the system has become financially and emotionally draining. We have no idea how much longer this may take. Our home-life hangs in the balance at this point. The only thing that gets us through the motions is knowing that if our case is heard and the law is ruled unconstitutional in the higher courts, then the law will hopefully be thrown out in Florida. That would open the doors for all gay couples and gay foster parents to begin adopting in Florida. So many children need permanent homes and families. Why would Florida want to prevent these children from being adopted by human beings that should have equal rights and equal love to give?

Taking kids from their blood relatives and breaking up families just because those relatives are gay or lesbian is not my kind of family values. No just society does that to children or families.

Melanie and Vanessa deserve all of our support in their fight against this unjust law.

Via Personal Failure at Forever in Hell.

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