Senator McCain Discounts the Vast Array of American Families, Backpedals

Earlier in the week, we released the following press release in regards to Senator McCain’s
comments about gay adoption:

Senator McCain’s comment in the New York Times on
Sunday, July 13, stating, “I think that we’ve proven that both
parents are important in the success of a family so, no, I don’t
believe in gay adoption” demonstrates a lack of knowledge and
understanding of the many kinds of families that exist in the
United States. The Family Equality Council, the national
organization working to ensure equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgender families, is disturbed and disappointed that a
presidential candidate would make such a biased and ill-informed
statement about the most “successful” kind of family.

These are the facts about American families. According to the 2000
census, the vast majority—more than 75%—of American households
differ in structure from two married, heterosexual parents and
their biological children. We are a nation of blended and
multi-generational families, adoptive and foster families, and
families headed by single parents, divorced parents, unmarried
parents, same-sex couples and more. As an adoptive parent himself,
McCain should be well aware of this. As a presidential candidate,
he should seek to honor and support the many kinds of families that
exist, rather than dismiss the vast majority of households in this
country as second-tier.

This is what is true about lesbians and gays raising children: 30
years of scientifically valid research universally demonstrates
that LGBT families are just as nurturing for children’s growth and
development as heterosexual families.

Our society’s primary child welfare organizations, such as the
American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric
Association and the National Association of Social Workers, have
all issued statements supporting same-sex parents. The American
Psychological Association has stated: “Gay and lesbian parents are
as likely as heterosexual parents to provide healthy and supportive
environments for their children.”

All of which makes one wonder: What is the basis for Senator
McCain’s position?

American families may be diverse, but have at least one thing in
common—we want our children to be safe, healthy, happy and
supported. When our families are politicized, our ability to
protect ourselves, each other and our children comes under attack.
After eight years of similarly baseless attacks on our families, we
hope that the next President of the United States will honor and
support the vast array of families that daily work to raise happy,
healthy and productive children. The Family Equality Council has a
proud history of educating political leaders about our families and
we welcome Senator McCain and others whose perspectives affect the
most personal aspects of our lives to contact us and get to know
the loving families he paints as “unsuccessful”.

After being blasted for his comments, Senator McCain’s campaign

issued a clarification
, stating:

“John McCain could have been clearer in the interview
in stating that his position on gay adoption is that it is a state
issue. … He was not endorsing any federal legislation. Sen.
McCain expressed his personal preference for children to be raised
by a mother and a father wherever possible. However, as an adoptive
father himself, McCain believes children deserve loving and caring
home environments, and he recognizes that there are many abandoned
children who have yet to find homes. John McCain believes that in
those situations that caring parental figures are better for the
child than the alternative.