Gov. McDonnell – Our Children Are Thriving

Originally posted on The New Civil Rights Movement.

The Governor of Virginia doesn’t know what’s happening in his own backyard.

Right this moment there are 2,279 lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender couples raising children in Virginia. These parents are valuable members of society who are successfully raising their children, paying their taxes, and being good neighbors.

The idea that these children are at any disadvantage because of who their parents are has been thoroughly disproven. Thirty years of research and every mainstream child welfare organization have said time and again that it’s simply not true.

That’s why, when Governor Bob McDonnell makes statements like this, they’re not only inaccurate and an insult to these families, but they’re also harmful to all children who are not being raised by a married mother and father:

McDonnell appeared in a Politico sponsored discussion with Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who is about to sign his state’s same-sex marriage bill into law.

Igor Volsky at Think Progress reports, “When O’Malley responded by suggesting that the well-being of children informed his own evolution towards marriage equality — ‘we concluded that it was not right and not just that the children of gay parents should have homes that are protected in a lesser way under the law than other children,’ he said — McDonnell remained unconvinced, insisting that gays and lesbians make worse parents than heterosexual couples and should thus be the last to adopt children.”

MCDONNELL: Most of the data that I’ve read that the best environment for a child to grow up to be fully capable of achieving the American dream and having the best start at life is an intact two-parent family made up of a man and a woman. I would say that that’s what all the data would suggest…An intact two-parent family is in fact the best for our country. Should be the model, but when it doesn’t work we have safety nets.

Governor McDonnell seems to only value the contributions and successes of families who look like his own. He calls into question whether LGBT parents are capable of delivering the American dream to their children. Governor McDonnell is wrong.

If I was running a state that has the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of youth aging out of the foster care system (a whopping 1/3) and the second lowest rate of public agency adoption in the nation (35.2%), I would spend a lot less time criticizing qualified parents, and put my resources where they belong: finding homes for children.

As the current generation of children with LGBT parents comes of age, maybe we should ask them how that American dream is working out.

The truth about these families will eventually come out, even to Governor McDonnell, but the two million children being raised by LGBT parents don’t have time to wait for him to get a clue – their health and well-being are at stake.

If anyone is denying children the opportunity to realize the American dream, its people like Governor McDonnell and the Virginia legislature, who through their actions are keeping children from finding forever homes.

Image: Bob McDonnell by Mark Taylor