SAN FRANCISCO -- Children raised by same-sex parents are as well-adjusted and safe from abuse as kids who grow up with a mother and father, a Cambridge University psychologist testified Friday in a federal lawsuit challenging California's same-sex marriage ban.
"For a significant number of these children, their adjustment would be promoted were their parents able to get married," developmental psychologist Michael Lamb said while undercutting arguments made by sponsors of Proposition 8, the ballot measure passed in 2008.
Lamb said there was no evidence that children with gay parents were more likely to become gay themselves or become victims of sexual abuse or incest.
In addition, he said no evidence exists that gays or lesbians are more likely to sexually abuse children.
"We have a substantial body of evidence documenting that a child being raised by same-sex parents are just as likely to be well-adjusted as children raised by heterosexual parents," Lamb said.
His testimony was presented by lawyers representing two gay couples in a lawsuit aimed at overturning Proposition 8.
Sponsors of the measure have said restricting marriage to a man and woman can be justified by the need to foster procreation and to make sure that children are raised by their biological parents.
The trial, now in its fifth day, is the first in federal court to determine if efforts to stop gays from marrying violates their constitutional rights.
Attorney Matthew McGill, who represents the plaintiffs, also introduced position statements from a variety of organizations, including the American Psychological Association and American Academy of Pediatrics, disputing the idea that lesbian mothers and gay fathers are unfit parents because of their sexual orientation.