Citation Obamination: Focus on Family Twists Gay Marriage Study Definition and Gets Caught

If Thomas Minnery were in my Poli Sci 101 class in college, he would have a lot of explaining to do to the T.A. on this one.

Minnery, head of the evangelical Christian organization Focus on Family, apparently failed to read his textbooks before taking a trip to Capital Hill for a hearing on same sex marriage. The testimony, which argued the ill effects of gay marriage on child development, included a study done by the Department of Health and Human Services that outlines the emotional and health benefits nuclear families have over other parental situations. Gay marriage, Minnery argued, fell outside the realm of a traditional “nuclear family”, and therefore aided in the degradation of children across the country.

What Senator Al Franken picked up on during the hearing, however, was the true definition of “nuclear family” derived from the study . According to the study, a nuclear family “consists of one or more children living with two parents who are married to one another and are biological or adoptive parents to all children in the family.”


The study intentionally deviates from the Merriam-Webster’s definition, which specifies “father, mother, and children.” In addition to the changing of the definition, Health and Human Service’s Debra Blackwell told Politico ““Sen. Franken is right,” the lead author of the study told POLITICO. The survey did not exclude same-sex couples…nor did it exclude them from the “nuclear family” category provided their family met the study’s definition.

In Mr. Minnery’s defense, he probably waited the night before the big hearing and skimmed over the cliff-notes a little too fast. Either that, or he fell asleep in the middle of studying because he couldn’t get any sleep knowing that maybe, just maybe, gay couples could be as caring and loving of parents as anyone else.

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