President Bush angered advocates for LGBT equal rights by suggesting in a Thursday interview with the New York Times that "studies" show children develop better when raised by heterosexual married couples.
The remarks were part of the president's response to a question about the Florida law that bars gay men and lesbians from adopting children. The law -- one of the harshest anti-gay laws in the country -- was recently upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, and this month the Supreme Court refused to hear the challenge on appeal.
Regarding the Florida law, the president responded, "I don't know this particular case."
He continued by focusing on the "ideal in society" of children being raised by a man and a woman. "And I believe children can receive love from gay couples, but the ideal is -- and studies have shown that the ideal is where a child is raised in a married family with a man and a woman."
"It's too bad we don't have an ideal president," said John Marble, spokesman for the National Stonewall Democrats.
"Any law that bars gay Americans from adopting children is morally wrong," he told the PlanetOut Network. "It's disturbing that we have a president who refuses to denounce such a law."
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights group, objected to the president's lack of knowledge about parenting research.
"Every credible study has shown that sexual orientation has no affect on parenting ability," said HRC Political Director Winnie Stachelberg. "Adoption should be about what's best for the child, not appealing to a political base. The nation's leading child welfare, psychological and children's health organizations agree that gay parents make just as good parents as straight ones."
"With so many children in foster care in need of permanently nurturing homes, it's critically important that we put science before ideology when making family policy decisions," she added.
In a recent study published in the journal Child Development, researchers found that teenagers raised by lesbian couples developed as well as teens raised by opposite-sex couples.
Last December an Arkansas state court overturned a law that banned gay people and anyone living with a gay adult from becoming foster parents. The judge noted in his ruling that being raised by gay or lesbian parents does not increase likelihood of psychological problems, nor does it endanger the health, welfare and safety of a foster child.
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