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Russian Bill Stirs Controversy, Same-Sex Families Targeted

A new bill was introduced in Russia by a member of the State Duma, the lower house of Parliament, this week that would allow children to be taken away from gay or lesbian parents. Sexual orientation falls in with alcoholism, abuse, and drug use as reasons for children being removed from their homes.

Does this outrage you? Alexei Zhuravlev is the member of the Duma that introduced the bill earlier this week. He argues that homosexual propaganda is “wrong in the family”. This bill follows close behind the law President Vladimir Putin signed in July banning homosexual couples from other countries from adopting Russian children. Individuals are even being urged to report their neighbors if they suspect they are gay.

At what point are other world leaders going to step in and say this is wrong? There is a growing movement to ban the Winter Olympics in 2014 set to take place in Sochi. Putin has even set a ban on any rallies, picketing, or demonstrations surrounding the Olympics. That would be a prime time for Gay Rights Activists to be seen by the world…but now it’s banned.

There are many discriminatory things happening in the vast country of Russia. No one deserves discrimination, but what is to happen to these poor children when they are taken from their loving homes? How is it better for them to be ripped from their same-sex families and placed with groups or people that are strangers? There are an estimated 2.3 million to 3.3 million families that will be affected if this bill passes.

Not all gay and lesbian families are made after the same-sex couple is together, but a large number of them are. These couples have a deep desire to have children and have to go to great lengths to do so. In fact, Melbourne University recently conducted a large study on children in same-sex families. They collected data on over 500 children and 315 gay, lesbian, and bisexual parents. They found that when it comes to emotional stability, self esteem, and the amount of quality time spent with their parents, the children fared no differently than children of heterosexual families. Where the findings differed from heterosexual families was the children’s overall health and the strength of their relationship with their parents. Children in same-sex families were stronger in these areas. Based on this study, sexual orientation of the parents does not play a role in the child's well-being.

This is not the first study to look at same-sex families and how sexual orientation of the parents affect children. At the beginning of the year, the reputable American Academy of Pediatrics released a paper based on 30 years of research to conclude that "many studies have demonstrated that children's well-being is affected much more by their relationships with their parents, their parents' sense of competence and security, and the presence of social and economic support for the family than by the gender or the sexual orientation of their parents."

That being said, perhaps the Vladimir Putins and Alexei Zhuravlevs of the world should focus more on how poverty, discrimination, and access to good education and nutrition affect children and their well-being and leave sexual orientation alone. Social support of same-sex families is something we can all give.

Comments

Sep 19, 2013 :: Hilda
absolutely agree. i don't need a 'study' to know that same sex couples can parent as well as heterosexual or even single parents. what is happening in Russia is a disgrace and has been going on a long time. i feel really sorry for all gays and lesbians living there, it must be so hard on them. But what can we do to help????

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