Science has once again found what we should all already know to be true: Gay parents are doing just as well as their straight counterparts.
Data from the National Health Interview Survey, which evaluated the emotional and mental health of around 21,000 children in the U.S. from 2013 through 2015, found that kids of gay parents experienced no greater difficulties than their peers with straight parents.
What's important to note here isn't that gay parents are equally as good — because, duh. The real issue is that even though science has found time and again that queer parents can be just as loving and supportive as straight parents, they still have to face so much discrimination.
"[T]he results indicate the need for continued investment in strategies to prevent sexual orientation-based discrimination and to support sexual minority parents who may experience minority stress," researcher Jerel Calzo of the San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health wrote in a statement to Newsweek on the findings.
For one thing, gay parents don't get the same rights as straight parents, especially when it comes to the fields of foster care, adoption, and custody.
The ACLU notes that "a few states — relying on myths and stereotypes — have used a parent's sexual orientation to deny custody, adoption, visitation and foster care. For instance, two states (Florida and New Hampshire) have laws that expressly bar lesbians and gay men from ever adopting children."
Adoption agencies are often religiously affiliated, and can and have used this as a means to discriminate against LGBTQ couples in multiple states. Both state legal restrictions and the personal objections of child welfare service providers can also get in the way of queer people becoming foster parents, according to Family Equality Council, an organization dedicated to supporting and advocating for LGBTQ parents and their families. Unsupported myths about the quality of care gay parents can provide are still having negative implications against perfectly qualified couples, at the expense of children in need of homes and loving families.
Hopefully, as studies continue to pour out findings in support of queer parents, we'll soon be able to quell the myths that lead to this discrimination.
Welcome to Mothership: Parenting stories you actually want to read, whether you're thinking about or passing on kids, from egg-freezing to taking home baby and beyond. Because motherhood is a big if — not when — and it's time we talked about it that way.
Read These Stories Next: