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Just as Pride Month begins here in the United States, a small-scale study from Australia suggests the children of gay parents may be happier than their counterparts raised by straight parents.

The research from the University of Melbourne created a program called the Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families. Researchers assessed the well-being of 500 children, evaluating their self-esteem, health, and happiness. There was no indication that there was a connection between sexuality and the amount of time parents and children spent together. While the children of same-sex parents had the same self-esteem levels as children raised by straight parents in the study, what researchers found about their emotional state and health was shocking. According to the Huffinton Post, “Children of same-sex couples scored higher for overall health and family cohesion, so overwhelmingly in fact, that researchers said it would only occur by chance less than 1 in 10,000 times.”

So why the discrepancy? It seems that families that have to face tough issues together, like the questions about their family makeup or possible bullying, they become closer. The communication required brings families closer. “This fosters openness and means children tend to be more resilient,” said the study’s lead author. “That would be our hypothesis.”

This research flies directly in the face of recent claims made by an Australian politician that gay marriage harms children.

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