My statement to the Maine judiciary committee

Presented at the public hearing today:

Good afternoon Senator Bliss, Representative Priest, and Members of the Judiciary Committee. My name is Daniel Summers. I am a pediatrician in Augusta and am here today on behalf of the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, to express our strong support for LD 1020.

As pediatricians, we observe all kinds of parents everyday, including same-sex couples. We believe that the love, support and devotion of gay and lesbian parents for their children is no different from the love, support and devotion of other parents, and that children can and do thrive in many kinds of families. In our experience—which is backed up by a scientific consensus -- children raised by gay and lesbian parents do not differ in any important respects from those raised by heterosexual parents. Overall, it is the quality of parenting that predicts children’s psychological and social adjustment, not the parent’s sexual orientation or gender. Nothing about having a male and female parent or a heterosexual orientation guarantees successful parenting, and I think we all know that. People of all backgrounds are capable of doing the work to be a good parent, or not.

Those who claim that children need a biologically related mother and father to flourish are either ignorant of the scientific literature or are misrepresenting it. All else being equal, the studies show children do better with two parenting figures than one, even though we all know single parents who do a fantastic job, and that divorce can be difficult for children, depending on how the adults handle it. But it is scientifically untenable to use studies about the effects on children of divorce or being raised in one-parent households to draw conclusions about children raised in two-parent households where the parents are of the same gender. With all respect, people are entitled to their beliefs, and even their biases, but it is plainly wrong to call those beliefs or biases “science.”

Our longer written submission also addresses claims made about children raised with same-sex parents regarding gender role development – it’s fine, and with respect to whether they are more likely to be gay themselves – they are not.

The Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics supports LD 1020 because it has important implications for children of gay and lesbian parents: implications for their financial and emotional security and for their sense of place in the larger community of families. Please do not succumb to the muddying of the waters by those who would purport to protect children by ignoring the fact that their families will remain their families, whatever the outcome of this bill. Let us remember that no good comes to children from denying their parents the ability to marry. Please support LD 1020.


  1. Nice job! It sounded impressive, too--I hope the folks quoting bogus science were listening, but I fear not.

  2. I'm proud of you!


  3. outstanding, sir. Can you come to Arkansas next and explain what logic and science is to these nitwits?

  4. My four-year old daughter and I were there and heard you speak so thoughtfully and eloquently on the issue. Thanks for coming out to the hearing!

  5. I believe that it is important that two parents are present in a child's life, and if by chance the parents go through the divorce parents should take every step they can to make sure that their childrens needs are put first- something I learned by reading Mike Mastracci's latest book "STOP Fighting Over The Kids"-whether or not the parents are gay or straight - period!