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Moms Talk: Explaining Gay Marriage to Your Children

As gay marriage is popping up more and more in the news, our moms wondered when is the best time to talk to your kids about it — and how?

Just the other day the Cleveland Plain Dealer posted a story about gay marriage in Ohio. The newspaper said the number of same-sex couples spiked in this state.

In fact, it grew by more than 50 percent between 2000 and 2010.

It got our Moms Council moms' wheels a'turning: If the topic of same-sex couples and gay marriage is so prevalent in the news right now (we're looking at you, New York), is this something that you need to explain to your kids? 

We agreed this may be a touchy subject, so some of you may ask "What's there to 'explain?'" And then others may be on the other end of the spectrum. With that said, we welcome any and all unprejudiced and intelligent insight into this Moms Talk. 

shadow_man August 03, 2011 at 12:06 PM
For those of you claiming homosexuality is a "lifestyle", that is a false and ignorant statement. Homosexuality is not a choice. Just like you don't choose the color of your skin, you cannot choose whom you are sexually attracted to. Virtually all major psychological and medical experts agree that sexual orientation is NOT a choice. Most gay people will tell you its not a choice. Common sense will tell you its not a choice. While science is relatively new to studying homosexuality, studies tend to indicate that its biological. http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/03/differential-brain-activation.pdf http://www.newscientist.com/channel/sex/dn14146-gay-brains-structured-like-those-of-the-opposite-sex.html Gay, Straight Men's Brain Responses Differ http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,155990,00.html http://www.livescience.com/health/060224_gay_genes.html http://www.springerlink.com/content/w27453600k586276/ http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2008/06/16/172/ There is overwhelming scientific evidence that homosexuality is not a choice. Sexual orientation is generally a biological trait that is determined pre-natally, although there is no one certain thing that explains all of the cases. "Nurture" may have some effect, but for the most part it is biological.
shadow_man August 03, 2011 at 12:07 PM
We need to get the word out to religious communities that anti-gay people are twisting God's words to condone their hate. Homosexuality is not a sin. The Bible is constantly being taken out of context to support anti-gay views. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, Greek temple sex worship, prostitution, pederasty with teen boys, and rape, not homosexuality or two loving consenting adults. http://www.soulfoodministry.org/docs/English/NotASin.htm http://www.jesus21.com/content/sex/bible_homosexuality_print.html http://www.christchapel.com/reclaiming.html http://www.stjohnsmcc.org/new/BibleAbuse/BiblicalReferences.php http://www.gaychristian101.com/ http://www.mccchurch.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Resources&Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=2121 http://www.wouldjesusdiscriminate.org/biblical_evidence.html http://www.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian http://www.goodhopemcc.org/spirituality/sexuality-and-bible/homosexuality-not-a-sin-not-a-sickness.html
shadow_man August 03, 2011 at 12:07 PM
The National Library of Medicine pubs confirm that sexual orientation is natural, biologically induced in the first trimester of pregnancy, morally neutral, immutable, neither contagious nor learned, bearing no relation to an individuals ability to form deep and lasting relationships, to parent children, to work or to contribute to society. From the American Psychological Association: homosexuality is normal; homosexual relationships are normal. The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association have endorsed civil marriage for same-sex couples because marriage strengthens mental and physical health and longevity of couples, and provides greater legal and financial security for children, parents and seniors. America's premier child/mental health associations endorse marriage equality.
shadow_man August 03, 2011 at 12:07 PM
This was taken from another poster that shows why we need to legalize gay marriage. If you don't feel for this person after reading it, you simply aren't human. "I am not sure what our President thinks of this dicission but coming from a poor family and knowing what discrimination is all about I would assume he would not care if "Gays" have equal rights. The whole reason why they are asking for rights to be considered married is from the same reason why I would be for it. My own life partner commited suicide in our home with a gun to his heart. After a 28 year union I was deprived to even go his funeral. We had two plots next to each other. But because we did not have a marriage cirtificate "(Legal Document)" of our union his mother had him cremated and his ashes taken back to Missouri where we came from. That is only one example how painful it is. His suicide tramatized me so much and her disregard for my feelings only added to my heartach. That happened on March 21 of 2007 and I still cannot type this without crying for the trauma I have to endure each day. Oh did I mention I am in an electric wheelchair for life? Yes I am and it is very diffacult to find another mate when you are 58 and in a wheelchair. "
shadow_man August 03, 2011 at 12:07 PM
Children will not be harmed by gay marriage. Let's examine research and prove what anti-gays are saying wrong. Also note, that "children" are completely irrelevant to gay marriage, because that issue is about gay adoption, which is not related. http://www.livescience.com/6073-children-raised-lesbians-fine-studies-show.html "In general, kids in both heterosexual and lesbian households had similar levels of academic achievement, number of friends and overall well-being." http://www.magneticfire.com/2010/02/19/1119/ "Goldberg’s new book is the first full-length analysis of the research on gay parenting, summarizing research data on the subject from the 1970s to the present day. The research is consistent in suggesting that the outcomes and well-being of children raised by gay and lesbian parents are no different than those of children raised by heterosexual parents." http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20051012/study-same-sex-parents-raise-well-adjusted-kids "Studies from 1981 to 1994, including 260 children reared by either heterosexual mothers or same-sex mothers after divorce, found no differences in intelligence, type or prevalence of psychiatric disorders, self-esteem, well-being, peer relationships, couple relationships, or parental stress."
Laura Z. August 03, 2011 at 12:48 PM
I think its important for all kids to know there are different kinds of families. I found this book on Amazon that explains some of the different families: http://www.amazon.com/Family-Book-Todd-Parr/dp/0316738964/ref=reg_hu-rd_add_1_dp I have several gay family members so my son will probably be pretty young when I explain to him the differences (and more importantly the similarities).
Jonathan Coulter August 03, 2011 at 01:54 PM
I'm not a parent yet, so please take this opinion for what it's worth... There are a number of touchy subjects that present themselves in life. This shouldn't be one of them. If two people love each other, they get married. To me, this is pretty simple. I don't let religious beliefs get in the way, because I don't really have any. In my opinion, religion is where this conversation gets tricky.
JillinJackson August 03, 2011 at 01:59 PM
Well said, Laura Z. and shadow_man. My brother is gay and he and his partner have been together for over 30 years. They really don't want to be "married" in the traditional sense, but would like a legal civil union. They would like to be able to get insurance together, have the right to visit one another in the hospital (if God forbid that would happen), file joint taxes....in other words all the legal minutae that "married" couples are entitled to. Laura, my granddaughter is almost 12 and she has never asked about her Uncles. One day she asked my brother where he slept. He pointed to his side and said "right there". Then she asked where Uncle Dick slept and he pointed to the other side and said "right there". Her reply: "Oh". She's never asked anymore questions, but I think that day will probably come. I'm going to check out the book you recommend. Shadow_man: my heart goes out to the poster of that story. I can't begin to imagine the pain he is feeling.
Ashley Villers August 03, 2011 at 04:38 PM
I am not a parent, but wouldn't it be ignorant to NOT at least explain that homosexuality does exist? To ignore it completely would lead to misunderstanding and potentially bigotry & hatred. Even if your religious views are at odds with homosexuality it your responsibility as a parent to teach kindness & understanding. I hear so many of my students using the word "gay" as an insult & in my mind, this is just as inappropriate as calling someone "retarded" or any other derogatory term. But so many children aren't taught these things at home or at school. Perhaps, right now, awareness is a more important step for some families, rather than acceptance. I would like to believe that everyone can agree that kindness, understanding, generosity and love is something that should be equal for everyone.
Lisa Lynch-Frank August 03, 2011 at 06:36 PM
Wow, all of you have presented such thought-provoking comments. I don't think this is a topic to ignore and I think kids have a right to understand and learn more on the topic of same sex-marriages.
jamie smith August 31, 2012 at 05:37 PM
This comment is pending approval and won't be displayed until it is approved. I'm frantically researching gay, lesbian, transgender articles for some parenting tips. I'm not gay but I am trying to explain "gay" to my 3 year old after this happened... http://www.sippycupcocktails.com/2012/08/sophie-has-two-dads.html uughhhh don't feel like dealing with this now

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