A pro-gay study commissioned by the former federal Liberal government was finally released to the public in May after its author had to resort to Canada’s Access to Information Act to get the Tories to release it.
"I can’t say for sure that the Tories deliberately buried my study," Concordia associate psychology professor Paul Hastings told Hour this week. "But I can say that it is really unusual for the federal government to pay for a report to be written and not post it. I suspect my study’s support for gay parents did not conform to the policy lines of the Tory party."
Hastings’ report was commissioned by the Department of Justice in 2003 and was completed in 2004, whereupon it was edited and translated by the department to conform to department legalese before being posted on the Government of Canada website. Except, of course, the Liberals were then beaten by the Conservatives in the 2006 election and the report was never posted.
The report itself compares the results of almost 50 North American, European and British studies about families headed by gay and lesbian parents from North America, with the results of another 25 studies of single-parent families. The international studies span the past 30 years.
"If the research had shown that children of same-sex parents were experiencing some kind of problem related to their social competence, I would have wanted to highlight that," says Hastings. "A problem can’t be addressed until it is recognized. But the vast majority of studies showed that these children are just as okay as the kids with opposite-sex parents."
Hastings says he is now getting requests from around the world for copies of his acclaimed report. But here in Canada, he says, "As far as I know it still isn’t posted on the government website. That’s quite disappointing."