Monday, February 18, 2002

Hobart Mercury - "Gay parents backed by new report" by AAP

A NEW report dispels the myth that children with gay or lesbian parents are disadvantaged by their parents ' sexuality.

Meet the Parents, a worldwide report summarising 25 years of research written for the Australian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, was launched yesterday by Australian Medical Association president Kerryn Phelps.

Dr Phelps launched it at the Mardi Gras Fair Day in Sydney and said gay and lesbian parents were sick of hearing the ``misinformation and propaganda'' about raising children.

She said many in the community believed gay parents created difficulties for their children, leaving them worse off than children with heterosexual parents.

``The fact is that the sexuality of the parents has very little to do with how well the children do in those families,'' Dr Phelps said.

``The greatest weapon of the bigot is misinformation. The greatest weapon we have to combat that propaganda is the truth, evidence.''

She said the document should be distributed to legislators, the public and the media to ensure no one was allowed to ``get away with misinformation any longer''.

Report author Jenni Milbank said the report ``conclusively and comprehensively'' demonstrated there was no disadvantage in having a lesbian mother or a gay father.

Nathan McDonell, 11, from Canberra, said while his older brother was very conscious of what people thought of his mother's lesbian relationship, it did not bother him.

``I don't give a damn at all -- I mean, big whoop,'' he said.

``There are some people in the world who are gay, lesbian, but there's no big deal about it.''

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