Transcript of Brian Brown's Prepared Testimony on HB 5001 and 5002 to the House Judiciary Committee, February 10, 2002
by Brian S. Brown
My name is Brian Brown, Executive Director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to encouraging and strengthening Connecticut’s families, located here in Hartford. I am here today to publicly oppose both bills.
Let me first say that the Family Institute of Connecticut affirms that all human beings should be treated with dignity, love and compassion—including same-sex couples. Our belief that marriage must be defined as the union of one man and one woman derives instead from the overwhelming evidence of social science and common sense.
While there are many reasons to oppose this legislation, I will concentrate on the simple but true fact that children need both a mother and a father. Study after study has shown that any deviation from the traditional mother-father family model is detrimental to a child’s well-being. As Dr. David Popenoe, Social Sciences Dean at Rutgers University, has stated:
I know of few other bodies of data in which the weight of evidence is so decisively on one side of the issue: on the whole, for children, two-parent families are preferable.
Traditional marriage is esteemed by our society in large part because it works—a home with a mother and father present is, on average, the best environment in which to raise children. Legitimizing same-sex unions will make a lack of either a mother or father permanent and obligatory for children raised in these families.
Proponents of these bills will point to the recent American Association of Pediatrics declaration as evidence that same-sex parenting is just as good as the traditional model. However, the AAP decision has come under intense scrutiny by top social scientists, and for very good reason.
Few studies exist on same-sex parenting and those that do simply do not fulfill the basic requirements of legitimate social science—large sample groups, control of variables, and an extension through a significant amount of time. A review of same-sex parenting studies in the just-published scholarly volume "Revitalizing the Institution of Marriage for the Twenty-First Century" underscores these problems.
The plain truth is that most social scientists agree that having a mother and a father does matter. As David Blankenhorn, respected researcher and author of Fatherless America said in response to the recent AAP decision, “We’re going to find out with same-sex couples just what we found out with divorce. The children are at higher risk for problems." And just like the advocates of the 1970’s that proclaimed that "studies show" children of divorce do fine, the advocates of same-sex parenting have no scholarly legs to stand on.
The American people and the people of Connecticut know this basic fact—traditional marriage should not be undermined in the interest of social experimentation. Poll after poll has shown that we as a people do not support this type of legislation. Yet here is another attempt to subvert that democratic voice—and it is disturbing that it is even being given a hearing by this committee.
Yes, we need to respect and love of those who are different than us; yes, we need to treat men and women with the dignity bestowed upon them by their creator; yes we need to protect the basic civil rights of all citizens. But I must sound an emphatic and unwavering no to undermining the place of the traditional family and marriage—and therefore of our children—in the state of Connecticut. Thank you.
Brian S. Brown
Family Institute of Connecticut