Ronald Fischer's column criticising the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage decision because it will lead to more children being raised by, and damaged by, same-sex parents cites "reason and common sense" as its basis ("Proud day for gays, sad day for children," Page A4, July 2).

This likely is because there is no reliable research that has concluded that children with same-sex parents are harmed or disadvantaged in any way.

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Fischer wants Herald readers to believe that there is such research, and cites the American College of Pediatricians in support. That sounds like a nice, nonpartisan organization concerned only with children's health and well-being, doesn't it?

The ACP website's section, "Marriage Matters," defines marriage as "the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law." It goes on to assert that this definition has been the only one "since the dawn of humankind."

Never mind, apparently, the long histories of forced and arranged marriages; polygamy and polyandry; and the American Indian Two-Spirit People, who identified themselves - and were treated as - the gender opposite the one they'd been assigned to at birth.

The Huffington Post's Alvin McEwan characterizes the ACP as "a sham group camouflaging religious right distortion as legitimate research" and cites University of Minnesota professor Greg Remafedi, who claims the group has "distorted his work." And in fact, the list of scientists whose research has been distorted to support the religious right's bigotry against the LGBT community is staggering.

Here's the truth: There is no research proving that children do better in homes with straight parents. There is research proving that children do better with two present, loving parents - which is probably the more significant message President Barack Obama was trying to communicate, when he was talking about the importance of fathers being in their children's lives.

I'm done with hate and bigotry disguised as science and concern for children. People don't have to support same sex marriage or like same sex parenting. But they don't get to take those things away just because they don't like them, and they certainly don't get to distort the facts to do it.

Nicole Ingalls-Caley

Grand Forks