Kids Need Mom & Dad, Iowa Rep. King Says, Citing Research He's Never Read

Yesterday, Iowa Representative Steven King took to CNN to defend Republican nominee Donald Trump’s recently unveiled plan to provide universal paid maternity leave and subsidies for child care.

Asked by journalist Chris Cuomo whether LGBT people should benefit from this plan as well, King demurred: “I want to promote the natural family,” he said. “I think that’s the most wholesome thing we can do.” Pressed to define a “natural” family, King got more specific: “a man and a woman joined together hopefully in holy matrimony and blessed by God with children.”

“When you look at social research,” Cuomo challenged, “they’re finding out more and more that babies adopted into LGBT families are doing just as well if not better than what you call a ‘natural’ family.”

“I think I’d need to look a little further into some that research,” King said. “I’m not looking at that research. I’d want to look at it.”

Wait, what? Was this the same Steve King who questioned the contributions made to society by non-white people? Or who claimed Colin Kaepernick was “sympathetic to ISIS” for protesting police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem? Or who said marriage equality would allow a man to marry his lawnmower?

Was King really thinking before he speaks? Offering to brush up on a subject he knows nothing about before opining on it? If so, allow me the pleasure of bringing you up to speed, Mr. King!

The largest peer reviewed study on the subject of LGBT families found zero difference in the wellbeing of children raised in same-sex versus opposite-sex headed households. Studies into trans-parenting also show that they raise happy and healthy kids. In fact, children of LGBT parents, if anything, have been found to be more emotionally stable and physically healthy than those raised by straight parents.

On the spot, Cuomo helpfully summarized these studies for King by offering the following: "We know that what works is loving the kid, giving them the attention, giving them the time,” he said. “There is no reason to believe that you have to have a man and woman to do that."

But, as if woken from a deep slumber, King suddenly seemed to remember that he was, in fact, an expert on the subject of LGBT parenting. He enlightened Cuomo thusly: “The evidence is very heavy on the other side of this thing,” King said of the research he had admitted, not moments before, that he had never reviewed. “A model of a father and a mother that are joined together and working together in a team—that is the best way we can hope that all children are raised.”  

But just in case research into LGBT parenting—which I guess King may or may not be familiar with, depending on the point he’s trying to make—doesn’t actually show any advantages to being raised by heterosexual parents, the Iowa Representative decided to cover his tracks by comparing it to that other area of scientific study so infamous for its inconclusiveness: climate change.

“We got down to the global warming argument and found out there is another side of that equation, too,” King said.

Oddly enough, King’s comparison is apt for at least one reason: just as the vast majority of research shows the undeniable impact of human activity on climate change, studies into LGBT parenting show no discernible difference into the wellbeing of children when compared to our heterosexual peers—that is, at least those that aren’t funded by anti-LGBT advocates and hate groups.


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