Are the kids all right?

October 08, 2010, 7:03 PM GMT+0

The soon-to-be-released film The Kids Are All Right has caused controversy in America for its portrayal of the family life of a long-term lesbian couple and their two teenaged children conceived through artificial insemination, and now the issues raised by the film appear to have divided many of our panellists as well.

  • A lot of panellists thought that raising children in a same-sex family was ‘wrong’, ‘distasteful’, ‘unnatural’ and, according to panellists with particularly strong views, ‘repugnant’ and ‘cruel’.
  • A common reason for negativity towards the raising of children by same-sex couples appeared to stem from the belief that children ‘need the parental guidance of both a man and a woman’ because ‘it is the only acceptable and healthy way’ to raise them, some panellists said.
  • One person expressed concern that ‘the children involved would be victimised at school for their unusual family set-up’.

'Increased tolerance towards homosexuality'

  • A significant number of people, though, felt that it did not matter if a child was brought up by a same-sex couple so long as they were cared for properly. One of these respondents said ‘as long as the kids are loved and cared for I think it’s immaterial whether they are being brought up by same-sex parents or a heterosexual couple. There are plenty of children who have a mum and a dad who have unhappy family lives.’
  • A couple of panellists even suggested that same-sex parents ‘would be more likely to appreciate and treat their children with a love that all children deserve’ because they would have had to put a lot of effort into planning the pregnancy.
  • The film also got praise from several people for raising the profile of same-sex couples starting families, who were hopeful that the film would ‘encourage attitudes towards homosexuality to become more tolerant’.

In the film The Kids Are All Right, directed by Lisa Cholodenko, the children of lesbian couple, Nic and Jules (played by Annette Benning and Julianne Moore), find their biological father (Mark Ruffalo) and try to include him into their family life. Despite the controversy over its subject matter, the film has received widespread critical acclaim and there is even speculation that it could be in the running for an Academy Award (Oscar) when the nominations are announced on January 25th, 2011.

The Kids Are All Right is due to premiere in the UK on 29th October.

What people are saying about same-sex couples

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