Gay Adoption: A response to homophobic UKIP candidate

I read the details of your interview alarmingly as UKIP’s “culture, media and sport” spokesman airing your views via the Metro on gay adoption, you term as “abusive”. Perhaps your party leader Nigel Falange, UKIP leader should question his choice of spokesperson as it is clear that you have a very narrow minded and ignorant approach to the term “culture”.

It is always a debate that astounds me but never fails to rear its ugly head to catapult us back to the dark ages. Let me start by saying this, I was raised by two heterosexual, conventional parents and I am gay. Did something go wrong? No, I can’t fault my parents; I didn’t suffer a trauma to confuse my sexuality. I had, by all accounts, a conventional upbringing and just happened to be attracted to the same sex.

The “nature vs nurture” debate is a fallacy for me; if indeed sexuality is a matter of nurture then I should be attracted to and sleep with women, being raised in an exclusively heterosexual family. If, by nature, we are programmed to procreate then gay wouldn’t be; so what happened? Let’s leave the absurd behind and focus on the reality, shall we?

You stated: “To say to a child, ‘I am having you adopted by two men who kiss regularly but don’t worry about it’ – that is abuse. It is a violation of a child’s human rights because that child has no opportunity to grow up under normal circumstances. A caring loving home is a heterosexual or single family. I don’t believe [a gay couple] is healthy for a child… There are people out there who bring up their kids encouraging them to believe they are gay themselves”

Some very outlandish claims Mr McKenzie, where’s your evidence other than your own ignorance? Do you know there was a time where black people were actually considered second class citizens and made to sit at the back of the bus? Thank God for people who ACTUALLY value social justice and human rights that fought against ignorance for equality, mutual respect and dignity. How you can call yourself a Christian if you hierarchise human worth on the basis of same sex attraction? I don’t remember any of my Catholic teachings on the basics of treatment of others to be conditional?

I would consider any parent, who influences the innate sexuality of their child, by what you allude to as psychological and environmental grooming, as abusive regardless of whether the parent is heterosexual, bi-sexual or homosexual. Therefore, my view is that your statement is pathologising gay parents as ritualistic groomers of children. I, as a proud member of the gay community refuse to accept your ignorant stance on the matter.

Just for the record, a caring loving home is one with caring and loving parents, it’s that simple. Evidentially, your opinions hold no weight and quite frankly based on your own narrow-mindedness. Let me draw your attention to The Telegraph’s Tom Chivers’ blog (click for links to articles) which may enlighten you:

There has been some research into all this. A review of the literature carried out in 2002 by the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology looked at 23 studies, examining a total of 615 children of same-sex parents and 387 controls. They looked at “emotional functioning, sexual preference, stigmatization, gender role behaviour, behavioural adjustment, gender identity, and cognitive functioning” – exactly the sort of criteria we discussed above.

They found that “Children raised by lesbian mothers or gay fathers did not systematically differ from other children on any of the outcomes”; more specifically, the studies “indicate that children raised by lesbian women do not experience adverse outcomes compared with other children”, and the same appears to be true for gay men, although more research was needed given how small their sample was.

Another review, this time from 2010 in the Journal of Marriage and Family, found that “Strengths typically associated with married mother-father families appear to the same extent in families with 2 mothers and potentially in those with 2 fathers”, and that while “Average differences favour women over men … parenting skills are not dichotomous or exclusive”. They conclude “The gender of parents correlates in novel ways with parent-child relationships but has minor significance for children’s psychological adjustment and social success.”

A third review, published in 2008 in the journal Child Development, looked at “sexual identity, personal development, and social relationships” among children of same-sex parents, and found that “there is no evidence that the development of children with lesbian or gay parents is compromised in any significant respect relative to that among children of heterosexual parents in otherwise comparable circumstances.”

If any child of gay parents were to develop problems as an adult, this is more likely to be due to views similar to yours and that of wider society’s intolerance and ignorance, rather than impact of same sex parentage. What we need to see is structural change and normalisation of same sex relationships.

In response to your comments Mr McKenzie, please see this video which offer you first-hand experience, to the contrary of your view:

Written by Michael Dwyer

The original article from SEEN magazine and is accessible here: Article link


For further comment from SWAN on UKIP and the recent Rotherham foster story see the SWAN statement HERE

And sign the SWAN petition ‘No to Political Point Scoring – Put Children First!’ HERE

Join Swan Now

We want to develop a network of service users, practicitioners, academics and students to support radical and progressive social work. We need a social work that is ready to challenge oppressive practice, that means working collectively across the country and internationally to advance Social Work.