A recent discussion on the impending referendum in the Republic of Ireland on adding the amendment "Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex" to the constitution led me to this video by something called the Iona Institute, a pressure group who advocate voting against the amendment. I'm quite removed from American politics so it could be that the debate has played out exactly the same way as it did in the USA, but I've not personally seen the argument framed in exactly that way before.

The Iona Institute's argument is summarised in the video as "If you think that a mother's love is unique and irreplaceable, and so is a father's love, then vote 'No' on May 22nd". My question is: can this viewpoint actually be justified? As someone who is raised by a single parent, my own perspective is obviously likely to be biased, but I'm wondering whether this debate can be settled with evidence rather than opinions.

  • I haven't watched the video, but your one-sentence summary of the video doesn't leave much room for evidence or factual justification. This argument seems to be solely a matter of opinion. After all, you'd first have to define specifically what "well-adjusted child" means - and even that cannot be quantitatively measured.
    – Greg Hewgill
    Commented May 17, 2015 at 21:24
  • This may be a better fit at Skeptics.SE, would you like me to look into migrating it? (They are quite good at finding the research behind the opinions.)
    – Erica
    Commented May 18, 2015 at 0:13
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    One thing to keep in mind is that the data will come out completely different in a country where homosexual parents are frowned upon vs a country where nobody minds. Where I live homosexuals getting married and having kids has been acceptable for almost 15 years and I've heard nothing to suggest that there's any kind of actual problem from the practice.
    – Erik
    Commented May 18, 2015 at 7:17
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    There was a question covering this on Skeptics.SE
    – user5341
    Commented May 18, 2015 at 21:01
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    What are you asking? Do such families produce a less well-adjusted child? If that's the question, please define well-adjusted. Or you asking if there's evidence that mother & and father's love is irreplaceable? I'm not sold that those are the same question.
    – user25791
    Commented May 19, 2015 at 0:32

1 Answer 1


The latest information I've seen is that the Regnerus article, which claimed to prove that children raised by same-sex parents were more prone to be abused, more prone to develop an STI or drug problem, etc, was recently challenged by scientists who claim that, if one removes all relationships of less than five years and what they believe to be spoof answers to the surveys, the results are just about even.