MN for Marriage blatantly misinterprets parenting study in new anti-gay clip [VIDEO]
In trying to make an anti-gay case, Yanta actually makes an anti-divorce one.
-- Minnesota for Marriage decries straight couple divorce in making anti-gay marriage case [VIDEO]
-- MN for Marriage, anti-gay marriage group, says it 'continues to stand strong against intolerance'
-- MN Marriage amendment: Majority support one man-one woman definition, says new survey
In the latest Minnesota Marriage Minute video, TV anchor-turned-shill Kalley Yanta touts a new study purportedly showing that "there are many major, highly negative differences" between outcomes for kids raised by married heterosexual couples and those raised by gays.
The only problem is that the study she discusses shows no such thing.
Salon provides some details (emphasis mine):
Conducted by University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus, the New Family Structures Study has been used by opponents of same-sex marriage to suggest that the children of same-sex couples fare poorly on a number of issues including relationships, abuse, and poverty.
But that's not what the study actually says. Regnerus' study compared children from families headed by married, heterosexual parents to children who were raised in families where one parent had a same-sex relationship at some point. The vast majority of the children whose parents had a same-sex relationship were either born out of wedlock or came from a "traditional family" that experienced a divorce. Critics say that comparison is unfair because it compares broken homes to married ones.
In fact, only two of the 2,988 people interviewed were raised by a same-sex couple for their entire childhoods. And only a small percentage of the children Regnerus coded as having gay parents said they had been raised in a same-sex household for more than a few years.
But Yanta plays fast and very loose with the facts in the new Marriage Minute clip.
"In fact, there are very significant, highly negative outcome differences between those raised by same-sex parents and those raised by married parents," she says, citing the Regnerus study. Specifically, she says kids raised by gays are 10 times more likely to be sexually abused, four times more likely to be raped, and four times more likely to end up on public assistance, among other things.
But again, the study shows no such thing -- it only shows that kids whose parents cheat on each other and divorce tend to have tougher lives. And certainly, there's no shortage of adults raised by straight parents who could vouch for that.
Yanta's latest misinformation campaign, paid for by Minnesota for Marriage, comes as no surprise. This isn't the first time the Marriage Minute has employed faulty logic for its own ends.
In a Marriage Minute video from April, Yanta made another flawed case for a same-sex marriage ban. From our blog post about it:
In the latest Minnesota Marriage Minute video, host Kalley Yanta begins with the following observation, which she then supports by referencing a number of studies: "It is an accepted truth of human existence, really, that while death and divorce too often prevent it, children do best when they are raised by their biological parents."...
But there's a hole in her logic: How do relatively poor educational and mental health outcomes for kids whose straight parents have divorced have anything to do with the gay marriage issue?
Of course, many gay couples would take issue with the notion that the optimal situation for raising a child is one where their biological parents stay married. But if that word is stricken from Yanta's observation, then her line of argument no longer ends up making an anti-gay marriage case.
In fact, she could actually be interpreted as making an argument on behalf of gay marriage. After all, whether they can legally marry or not, gay couples will continue to adopt children. And if the studies Yanta discusses are legitimate, then wouldn't it be best for adopted children if their gay parents could make the commitment of marriage to each other?
Yanta's shilling, both in April and now, is intellectually dishonest. Unfortunately, it might also persuade undecided Minnesotans to vote 'yes' on November's same-sex marriage ban. And with the vote expected to be close, a few votes here and there will probably make all the difference.
Here's the raw video of the latest Marriage Minute dealing with the Regnerus study:
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.