The American Sociological Association has filed an amicus brief in the Proposition 8 case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court strongly supporting marriage equality as a positive step for child well-being. They also offer an extensive critique of the Regnerus study used in other amicus briefs as support for upholding the ban on same-sex marriage.
You can read the entire 32-page brief here (PDF) and Peter Montgomery at Religion Dispatches, above, discusses the critique of the Regnerus study specifically, with lengthy excerpts.
Here, I thought I would share the succinct conclusion from the brief itself:
The social science consensus is both conclusive and clear: children fare just as well when they are raised by same-sex parents as when they are raised by opposite sex parents. This consensus holds true across a wide range of child outcome indicators and is supported by numerous nationally representative studies. Accordingly, assuming that either DOMA or Proposition 8 has any effect on whether children are raised by opposite-sex or same-sex parents, there is no basis to prefer opposite-sex parents over same-sex parents and neither DOMA nor Proposition 8 is justified. The research supports the conclusion that extension of marriage rights to same-sex couples has the potential to improve child wellbeing insofar as the institution of marriage may provide social and legal support to families and enhances family stability, key drivers of positive child outcomes. The Regnerus study and other studies relied on by BLAG, the Proposition 8 Proponents, and their amici provide no basis for their arguments, because they do not directly examine the wellbeing of children raised by same-sex parents These studies therefore do not undermine the consensus from the social science research and do not establish a “common sense” basis for DOMA or Proposition 8.
While I would be the first to agree that just because something is said by a professional organization that doesn’t make it true (exhibit A: the classification of homosexuality as a pathological disorder), it is true that professional consensus backed up by a body of literature that consistently demonstrates a set of outcomes requires an equally strong body of evidence to refute. And the anti-equality spokespeople are not offering up that body of evidence.
I encourage those interested to at least skim through the ASA brief.