How should a Catholic respond to growing evidence against church teachings on LGBT parenting?

Recently, more and more evidence has begun to come out that parents in same-sex relationships who are parenting a child, presents no harmful benefits in comparison to opposite-sex parenting couples. An example article is this:

“Rarely is there as much consensus in any area of social science as in the case of gay parenting, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics and all of the major professional organizations with expertise in child welfare have issued reports and resolutions in support of gay and lesbian parental rights”

How is a catholic or any christian opposed to gay-adoption or the lifestyle of same-sex marriages, etc supposed to help convince an average person that they are correct, when multiple psychiatric and psychological reputable institutions are declaring it to at the very least, not be negative and that the stigma around these issues simply needs to end? What is someone to do when you are morally in line with the teachings of God, but it goes against evidence being presented by the span of scientific evidence?

I’m not asking this in order to doubt God, but I am asking because this is something I have found difficulties doing myself where I am arguing for the position of the Catholic Church in regards to these issues, but am meeting a brick wall when faced with scientific evidence that I can only oppose on a pure moral ground. Is that the only ground this argument truly holds?

Homosexuals can surely provide the love and care for a child. However, when we say care we must be careful. That child will grow up learning that homosexuality is ok and even a good thing, that it is normal. We know it is not normal in the eyes of God. God made man and woman, not man and man. Gay people are to be loved as God’s children just like all God’s children who are afflicted from a disorder. The real problem is that the lifestyle is leading the children away from God’s truth.


From my outside point of view, yes…the morality is pretty much the only basis you have to argue from. And that morality is based on your Catholicism and is not the morality many others will agree with.

Here is a case where all you can do is state the catholic position and realize that being Catholic isn’t supposed to be easy.


There is no growing evidence. Who defines benefit? I define good parenting as imparting holiness and fear of God, a good sense of morals, and ultimately salvation of the soul. Same sex parents who believe themselves to be morally just fail to do some of this. Never let someone define terms for you without debate. . . .


From the morality perspective. I admit you tend to lose interest there. There’s definitely evidence that shows that harmful effects of single parenting are mitigated when the child has outside influence and support (eg a supportive uncle). So it’s not surprising that we’ll see all of this.

I guess one can argue that one is denying the child the experience of having a mother and father, which is more of an emotional argument. People will definitely follow up with ‘Well two gay parents is better than living in an orphanage, right’.

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The people announcing it as a benefit are massive organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Psychoanalytic Association, Canadian Psychological Association, National Association of Social Workers, etc. I’m not saying in terms of morality that there is growing evidence, but I am saying that beyond what I can argue from a Catholic morality, is that truly all I can say? And if it is all I can say, it seems like an argument that we’re just destined to lose until the end-times, as unless the scientific evidence begins to re-align which it very well might, it’ll be hard convincing someone that isn’t already inclined to believe the morality that we believe in. And that is a hard hill to climb up, merely on the argument of morality alone with nothing else tangible that can back it up to the common person.

I guess it almost feels like a failure on our part, because either the scientific evidence is wrong which again it very well may be. Or it’s correct, and morality is really the only thing we can cling to which I just feel kinda pushes us to the edge. I mean, if that’s the way it’s got to be then that’s the way it’s got to be as the church is quite clear on this. I’m just truly trying to see is there any other avenue I can attempt to tackle this from for someone who may not simply be onboard with the morality alone.

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Yes. We will be on the downturn until the end times. The world will generally get worse, and the people will not listen to sound doctrine. The Bible says this often. There may be times of great holiness here and there, and when Gods kingdom comes we will have a great time before the end, but still. The moral argument is strong enough anyway, and stands on its own. The natural law is accessible to reason, if someone denies it, that shows how corrupt the unregenerate often are. don’t worry about it.

Also, data might change over time. This is still kind of new.


Is it better to have a mom and a dad? Or two moms? Or two dads? Or perhaps 3 dads or 3 moms or one mom and two dads? Lots of possible combinations. But the natural one is a mom and a dad generate a child who has a parent of each sex.


Pray the Rosary everyday.


When a child is a boy and says to his parents he really is a girl, like what we’ve seen on TV with Jazz, these institutions would have the parent go along with making the child into a girl. If the parent resists, something is wrong with the parent. Perhaps when the child goes through puberty, things may straighten out. There’s no ‘wait and see’ with them. They dose up the child with the ‘wrong’ hormones, and they are good to go when the child asks to have ‘bottom surgery’.

This is how they, the experts, have lost credibility in my eyes.
Since Christian morality isn’t convincing, perhaps Jazz might have more impact. So called experts would encourage the hormonal ‘treatment’ and the chopping off of male anatomy.

If this person is not a Christian, I would rather discuss how God loves them and has opened heaven to them, than try to move their opinion that is likely very entrenched, and probably will entrench them further. The argument could very well push them farther from exploring Christianity. So, what is your goal with the argument? The surrounding voices are proclaiming Christianity is intolerant and hateful. Are they going to walk away with that impression? Without God changing their heart, it’s pretty hard to penetrate this stronghold. You may do more damage than good.


ok. Gay couples can raise children.
So can an aunt, an uncle, or an aunt and an uncle, or adoptive foster parents, or strangers who discover children somewhere.
The Church does not deny any of these possibilities.

The Church observes this truth:
It is good for human beings to be alive.
Human beings come forth from one mother, and one father. (someone please stop me when you disagree…)
One man and one woman are an existential necessity for the good of human life.
Human nature reveals that children come to be and flourish, ideally, in the nurturing bosom of a man and woman.
The Church affirms the good of human life, and the self evident process (aka “family”) that is necessary for human life to flourish.


People don’t care about natural if their preference will work just as well materially.

Don’t say evil about others.

I remember in the 1970s when the divorce rate began to go up, all sorts of studies showing that children were perfectly fine being raised in single-parent households.


Anyway I don’t think you can really put forth a compelling argument with people who believe otherwise, because your premises and theirs will be different. For example, I read that a study showed no harm to children raised in a single-use household, but one of the results mentioned was the children’s greater likelihood of engaging in homosexual relationships. This is not seen as a bad outcome by those who support SSM. Yet to us, this would be a clear indication that there is something wrong.

St Peter said we had to give a reasonable reason for our belief. He did not say we had to convince others with our reasons.


I think we will always lose if the other side is allowed to determine the metrics by which “goodness” is measured.

If they can define “beneficial” and “harmful” to mean whatever they want, then naturally they can define those terms in such a way as to make any parenting arrangement seem beneficial.

That doesn’t mean they’re right. It means they set the terms of the engagement.

So the question becomes, by what authority do they determine “goodness”?


The psych community has come to the point that if you’re comfortable with what you are or what you’re doing, you’re psychologically healthy. If you’re not, you’re not.

Christianity (the Abrahamic religions really) don’t teach that. They teach that sometimes the way is hard, but we must obey the Will of God, not ourselves.


Um, are you non-Catholic? Because that sounds like Calvinism, not Catholicism. (As if there’s anyone whose salvation God does not will.)

Just want to make sure it’s clear for anyone reading this forum that the position you’ve laid out here is not Catholic, so if they balk at it they don’t mistakenly balk at Catholicism.


Normalizing a child to a potentially soul-damning lifestyle is quite damaging to the child wouldn’t you say?


It’s important to know what each of those organizations is trying to get across to people. I believe they are trying to address, for the most part, two different ideas though there is some overlap in which they will clash.

In the case of the Catholic Church, they are passing on norms for morality. That’s not exactly how I’d like to put it but I can’t think of another way.

This particular article from 2007 (which uses studies that are in some cases small, inadequate by their own admission, and usually around twenty years old) is trying to make a case for the removal of legal barriers in Australia.

To reconcile these two points of view I would look closely at what each of their purposes are. The Catholic Church would not teach against a gay woman raising her sister’s children if both the sister and her husband were killed and they so willed it. So, in principle, even if the gay woman had a life partner, there is no teaching against this.

Can this be extended to adoption of orphans? When does it go to far? IMO, it would start to go to far when the norms are disregarded in favor of selfishness. What that looks like is up for debate.

I am Catholic and what I say there is the teaching of the Church, sola gratia. To learn more read this by Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange:

Some relevant quotes:

St. Augustine, too, pointed out that both the first grace and the last are in an especial way gratuitous. The first prevenient grace cannot be merited or in any way be due to a purely natural good impulse, since the principle of merit is sanctifying grace, and this, as its very name implies, is a gratuitous gift, a life wholly supernatural both for men and for angels. Again, the final grace, the grace of final perseverance, is, as St. Augustine pointed out, a special gift, a grace peculiar to the elect, of whom our Lord said: “No one can snatch them out of the hand of My Father” (John 10: 29). When this grace is granted, he added, it is from sheer mercy; if on the other hand it is not given, it is as a just chastisement for sin, In the words of St. Prosper quoted by a council of the ninth century, “If some are saved, it is the gift of Him who saves; if some perish, it is the fault of them that perish.” [181] “since God’s love is the cause of things, no one thing would be better than another, if God did not will a greater good for one than for the other.” [180] No one thing would be better than another by reason of some salutary act, whether it be the first or the last, easy or difficult, in its inception or continuance, were he not more beloved of God. This is what our Lord refers to when He says of the elect, that “no man can snatch them out of the hand of My Father” (John 10: 29). He was speaking here of the efficacy of grace, which also led St. Paul to ask, “Who distinguisheth thee? Or what hast thou that thou hast not received?” (I Cor. 4:7.) Could we find anywhere a more profound lesson in humility?
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