Family Life


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You’re The Expert: Same-Sex Parenting

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ur ParentsCanada national survey on same-sex parenting found Canadian parents across the country comfortable about the rights of same-sex partners to have families. Of those parents surveyed, 79 percent accepted that gay or lesbian couples have the right to parent children. Fully 95 percent said that they would not discriminate against same-sex parents or their children in any way.

That approval rating dropped to 57 percent when asked what kind of parents same-sex couples would make. Many respondents felt that judgement depended on the individuals involved. Only four percent of parents rejected the concept or werent sure if same-sex couples could make good parents.

Parents who expressed reservations about allowing their children to play with children being raised by same-sex parents or to visit same-sex couples homes gave various reasons. Opinions and concerns included:

  • That their childs young friend might not have a strong father figure or mother figure in their lives.
  • Wouldnt approve if the couple was raising that child to be gay or lesbian.
  • Same-sex marriage goes against religious beliefs, so they wouldnt want their child to think that lifestyle was okay.
  • Not comfortable with gays, so they would have a hard time having their child around that kind of situation.
  • Would hesitate sending a son to a house alone if both parents were male.

One parent , who objected to being asked to judge people as parents on the basis of their sexual orientation rather than basing it on other characteristics, put it this way: There are many nice, decent gay people, people who are regular, normal, functioning people with whom I would never have a problem. There are, on the other hand, the flaky type, gay or non-gay, who are over-the-top and push their views on everyone. I wouldnt say that I discriminate, but Im selective about personality types. Too often, its the over-the-top gay type whom we see that makes people discriminate. In nongay people with annoying personality traits, Id call it avoidance.

Interestingly, only 25 percent of all the parents surveyed acknowledged knowing any same-sex parents.

a man carrying two children

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