Study: Children better off if same-sex couples allowed to marry (5X8 – 3/21/13)

Children and same-sex marriage, the shifting DFL on human services, guns and suicide, a picture of beer, and spring on Superior.


Children are better off if same-sex couples are allowed to marry, a study being released today claims. It’s not just any study. It comes from the American Academy of Pediatrics, and is based on 30 years of data, the report’s abstract says.

Extensive data available from more than 30 years of research reveal that children raised by gay and lesbian parents have demonstrated resilience with regard to social, psychological, and sexual health despite economic and legal disparities and social stigma. 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.

The Academy reviewed previous studies and, though they used different methods, found similar results, the New York Times reports.

One study in England compared 39 families with lesbian mothers to 74 heterosexual parents and 60 families headed by single heterosexual women. No difference was found between the groups in emotional involvement, abnormal behaviors in children as reported by parents or teachers, or psychiatric disorders in them. Both mothers and teachers reported more behavioral problems among children in single-parent families than two-parent ones, whatever their sexual orientation.

A 2010 study of children born to 154 lesbian parents in the United States compared mothers’ reports of their 17-year-olds to a national sample of age-matched peers. The mothers’ reports indicated that their sons and daughters had high levels of competence and fewer social problems, compared with their peers.

“Marriage strengthens families and benefits child development, and it also increases a parent’s sense of competence and security when they are able to raise children without stigma,” said Dr. Nanette Gartrell, the lead author of the study and a visiting scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law.

But other childhood development experts countered the data is still too small and there isn’t enough data to prove that, for example, children raised by lesbians develop in the same was as children raised by gay men.

Ironically, one of the benefits listed for allowing same-sex couples to marry, is it allows same-sex couples to divorce, and provide consideration for the well-being of the child in the divorce.

Related: Study: Women Abused As Kids More Likely To Have Children With Autism (Time)


You saw this coming, right? A year after giving millions to the Minnesota Vikings to build a stadium, the DFL would take control of the Legislature, then cut health and human services programs?

In a week where so much attention is on Republicans “rebranding” themselves, it appears it’s the DFL that’s shifting, one lawmakers suggests.

“I’m very upset. I came close to resigning as chair,” Rep. Tom Huntley tells MPR’s Tom Scheck. “If that’s what the Democrats are going to do, what’s the difference between that and what the Republicans have done over the last two years?”


Yesterday’s All Things Considered story about a doctor whose patient killed himself was a compelling one, indeed. Dr. Frank Dumont of Colorado was left feeling guilty after he says he failed to see the signs that his patient — a man in his 80s — was contemplating taking his own life. It is, on the face of it, a story about guns.

But it’s a story that could have — although it didn’t — collide with another “rights” issue: Do people have a right to take their own lives? From the description, the man was sinking into dementia and ill-health.

“How much federally funded research do we need to understand an 80 something year old choosing to go out under their own terms?” a commenter on the story says.

“Maybe if we care so much about suicide and especially suicide with a firearm we should improve our mental health care system so people can actual get help instead of going to a general physician every 8 weeks for some generic anti-depressant and a pat on the back,” another commenter said.


Things were just dying down in Bemidji where a coupon error caused a ruckus in January, now the laughing is starting a new.

The Bemidji Pioneer reports the Lazy Jack’s coupon offered people 1 1/2 pounds of wings and a picture of beer for $10. The coupon also had the cook’s personal phone number on it instead of the bar’s.

Jay Leno highlighted the mistake on his program Monday night.

The bar tried to go along with the mistake by actually giving people pictures of beer, but a lot of customers didn’t get it, the newspaper says.


There are some things summer just can’t do.

Lake Superior Ice from Daniel Jandl on Vimeo.

Bonus I: Does playing cribbage make you a Minnesotan? (Lazy Lightning)

Bonus II: Why first responders rule. The NY subway rescue. (CBS)


There are many challenges in the Middle East. Egypt, Tunisia and Libya have all shed themselves from dictators but their future remains unclear. Turmoil in Yemen continues. Meanwhile, Iran presses forward with it’s nuclear program. Today’s Question: What should President Barack Obama’s priority be as he continues his first visit to Israel?


Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: Ways in which mental health reform can help to reduce violence among the mentally ill.

Second hour: The minimum wage debate.

Third hour: The state of the news media.

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Neurologist Adam Gazzaley and New York Times tech reporter Matt Richtel, speaking at the Commonwealth Club of California about “Your Brain on Computers: Neuroscience & Tech’s Devices of Distraction.”

Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – On August 22. 2011, principal Tanishia Williams Minor launched DC Met’s school year. And from that day forward, teachers and administrators worked to keep at-risk kids in class and on track to graduate. Did it work? Can it work elsewhere?

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – The debate over gun rights and gun violence reveals how deeply divided Americans are on the matter. It also demonstrates how seldom people with differing views on guns talk to each other. NPR gathers a group of people with a cross-section of opinions on guns for a roundtable discussion.

As part of his effort that he says would make Minnesota’s tax system more fair, DFL Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing an income tax on people who aren’t Minnesota residents, but who spend 60 or more days a year here. Dayton argues so-called “Snow Birds” use the same services everyone else pays for and that they should be required to pay their fair share. But some say the tax is a horrible idea that stands to drive away long-term visitors and the money they spend in Minnesota. MPR’s Mark Zdechlik will have the story.

  • jon

    @ bonus 1 – I never played cribbage until I moved to MN…

    I never played euchre until I was going to school in Michigan.

    But the article says euchre is an Ohio thing… I assume then that it is both, and it’s a regional game…

    I’m left to wonder if cribbage is also a regional game, do they play it in the Dakotas? Wisconsin? Iowa?

    Perhaps some one needs to make a map of the most popular card game by area.

  • kcmarshall

    #3 Based on the wife’s reaction – emergency call for to the Dr. for counseling – I think we can conclude this was not a “healthy” decision by the patient. Our system doesn’t currently offer people in his condition many options but clearly his choice was not made in the way end-of-life decisions should be.

  • BJ

    @ bonus 1 reply for jon

    I learned to play cribbage from people from Wisconsin who were visiting Minnesota.

  • Sareen

    #5: One March, I was up camping on Superior in the snow. a walk to the lake revealed that each rock on the shoreline had a little “ice hat.” I found, by gently lifting those hats off of the ice and letting them float in the water, you could compose a song by hitting each with a stick. Different rock, different size, different pitch. From there, the added wave action allowed these floating tympani-like blobs to crash into each other. I was there for hours mixing those ice jellyfish into my own personal orchestral piece. The joys of spring on Superior.

  • Rachel

    @jon – interesting idea on regional games. I grew up playing cribbage in South Dakota. I learned euchre from a native of Northern MN.

  • Heather

    Iowans do play cribbage.

  • Bob Collins

    Wife and her family play cribbage. I no longer play b/c of wife and her family.

    They’re Vermonters originally. I suspect the game has more to do than people on the verge of losing it with endless winters.

  • Jeff

    My wife’s family, from the Iron Range, plays Smear (pronounced “Schmier”) which they say is an Iron Range card game.