Dobson and Perkins Weigh in on Mary Cheney

First, far-right activists called the vice-president’s daughter’s pregnancy “tragic,” then crackpot researcher Paul Cameron called it “cruel” to her child. It was only a matter of time before the highest-profile leaders of the D.C.-connected Religious Right chimed in with their opposition to gay families.

James Dobson, head of Focus on the Family, told the readership of Time magazine that both childbirth and adoption ought to be limited to opposite-sex couples because “The two most loving women in the world cannot provide a daddy for a little boy”:

With all due respect to Cheney and her partner, Heather Poe, the majority of more than 30 years of social-science evidence indicates that children do best on every measure of well-being when raised by their married mother and father. …

In raising these issues, Focus on the Family does not desire to harm or insult women such as Cheney and Poe. Rather, our conviction is that birth and adoption are the purview of married heterosexual couples. Traditional marriage is God’s design for the family and is rooted in biblical truth. When that divine plan is implemented, children have the best opportunity to thrive. That’s why public policy as it relates to families must be based not solely on the desires of adults but rather on the needs of children and what is best for society at large. …

We should not enter into yet another untested and far-reaching social experiment, this one driven by the desires of same-sex couples to bear and raise children.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, echoes this theme that gay parents are merely gratifying themselves rather than raising their child well:

Children’s needs, however, are more than the sum of the wants in the lives of the adults who reside with them. Study after study demonstrates that no amount of care or financial privilege can compensate for the missing physical and emotional benefits experienced by children who enjoy the lifelong love and presence of a married mother and father.

Perkins goes even beyond the dubious argument that children raised by gay couples are automatically worse off for lack of a gender model; he argues that gays are simply too dangerous, writing that “studies published in the peer-reviewed journals”

… all cite the devastating effects of domestic violence, increased substance abuse, mental health problems, sexual identity confusion, depression, and suicide associated with the homosexual lifestyle. A child fortunate enough to escape those realities still faces a distinct disadvantage throughout childhood–the irreplaceable influence of the missing biological parent.