Ted Olson: Children Don't Need Mothers--or Fathers

March 9, 2011 - 10:55 AM

(CNSNews.com) – Former Bush Administration Solicitor General Ted Olson, who represented the plaintiffs who sued California to overturn that state's ballot-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, told CNSNews.com on Tuesday that children do not need mothers--or fathers--and do just as well being raised by two parents of the same sex.

"Generally, statistically, the experts have said that a child growing up in a same-sex family household is as able to develop and will develop as well, generally speaking, as someone in an opposite-sex household," Olson said.

CNSNews.com had asked Olson, if he agreed with the federal judge who ruled in his favor and nullified California's marriage amendment that having a mother does not increase the likelihood a child will be well-adjusted.

Here is a transcript of the exchange between CNSNews.com and Ted Olson:

CNSNews.com: "In the case against California’s definition of marriage [as being] between a man and a woman, which you are pursuing, the judge concluded that--quote--‘Having both a male and a female parent does not increase the likelihood that a child will be well-adjusted.’ Do you agree that having a mother does not increase the likelihood a child will be well-adjusted?"

Ted Olson: "The experts on child development, from the finest experts in the world, testified that it always depends upon the quality of the parenting. So it might be you could have a bad mother who wouldn’t be as good as two fathers or two mothers. You could have parenting by the same-sex couple that could provide a vastly better environment than a mixed couple where there’s child abuse, alcohol abuse, violence and things of that nature. Generally, statistically, the experts have said that a child growing up in a same-sex family household is as able to develop and will develop as well, generally speaking, as someone in an opposite-sex household."

When asked whether the case for same-sex marriage is or is not predicated on the assumption that children don’t really need mothers, Olson said that it is not.

 

Ted Olson

Attorneys David Boies, left, and Theodore Olson at a rally in West Hollywood, Calif., Aug. 4, 2010, to celebrate a federal judge’s ruling overturning California’s Proposition 8, which had defined marriage to be between one man and one woman. (AP photo)

“No, it is predicated on the assumption that people who love one another [and] would like to get married should have the opportunity equally to have that opportunity to live with one another in a marital state,” he said.

 

Ruling on behalf of the plaintiffs Olson represented in the California marriage case, U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that Prop 8 was unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses.

Although Judge Walker issued a finding of fact in his opinion that children do just as well with same-sex parents as they do with opposite sex parents, an American Psychological Association fact sheet that he cited as a source in his decision stated that there have been few studies of the children raised by male couples.

Page 5 of the fact sheet asks this question: “Do children raised by lesbian or gay parents have problems in personal development in areas other than sexual identity? For example, are the children of lesbian or gay parents more vulnerable to mental breakdown, do they have more behavior problems, or are they less psychologically healthy than other children?”

The APA then answered that question as follows: “Again, studies of personality, self-concept, and behavior problems show few differences between children of lesbian mothers and children of heterosexual parents. Few studies are available regarding children of gay fathers.”

CNSNews.com spoke with Olson at a luncheon sponsored by the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.