Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. was in private practice for more than thirty years. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the states ...Read More
The attorneys for the state presented testimony that children raised in homes with gay parents are more likely to become drug addicted and anti social. The judge dismissed all of this in his ruling.
In my experience as a psychotherapist I worked with gay male couples who were married and raising children. Why were they in couples and family counseling? The answer is, for the same reasons heterosexual couples enter couples therapy. The issues they faced had to do with things such as: How to handle money, finding time for one another after a long day of work and caring for the kids, how best to share the work load at home and how to remain united when the children are challenging and attempting to find ways to "divide and conquer." In other words, how to be consistent and steady and realistic with discipline.
These issues were no different form the ones I experienced in working with heterosexual couples. In fact, the individuals concerned, whether gay or heterosexual, were steady, level headed, responsible and moral. In no case were any of the couples or individual concerned involved in alcohol or drug abuse. As a matter of fact, the couples were all professionals at work. What I mean is that whether the couples were gay or heterosexual, they were lawyers, medical doctors, psychologists and high powered business people.
For those who counter this discussion with biblical quotes there are two ways I can reply:
1. This is a psychology website. The field of psychology uses the scientific method and, as such, we look at hard data from controlled surveys and experiments. We do not start with any a priori notions or ideas unless we are scientifically exploring a theory. However, even that theory has to be based on prior hard fact and not undocumented opinions. In all of this, we also look at case studies, although even those must be put up to close scrutiny in the research process. With all due respect to those who are religious, and from my point of view as someone who had worked in mental health for three decades, religious convictions are important to people in their private lives but has no place when attempting to be scientific. Faith is important but, in science, we cannot rely on Faith because we need hard date.
2. I have known a few gay people who are also extremely religious Christians and are well versed in scriptures, whereas I am not. These individuals are able to counter every to quote every biblical prohibition against homosexuality with equally relevant and powerful biblical quotes prohibiting hatred and intolerance and demanding respect for the lives of all people.
Number Two is my main point. We live in a world where time and distance between diverse people has closed. When I get E. Mail questions from people in Pakistan and India and am able to immediately reply I am reminded of how small a world it really now is. Therefore, we must learn to accept the fact that there are many people different form ourselves.
There are too many unwanted children in the world. It seems logical to me that good people who want to adopt and raise these youngsters should be allowed to.
At the same time, it seems to me that gay people who want to marry should be allowed to.
What are your thoughts and opinions about this important issue?
Allan N. Schwartz, PhD