A review of three decades of research from around the world has categorically quashed misinformed arguments that children of same-sex parents fare worse.
As Australia's marriage equality debate continues, a team of its top paediatricians assessed published evidence to conclusively demonstrate kids and adolescents with same-sex parents are at no greater risk of poorer health and wellbeing than other children.
Their review, published overnight in the Medical Journal of Australia, showed children raised in same-sex parented families did as well emotionally, socially and educationally as children raised by heterosexual couple parents.
Earlier this year, the Public Policy Research Portal at Columbia Law School in the US reviewed 79 studies that investigated the wellbeing of children raised by gay or lesbian parents.
That review concluded that there was "an overwhelming scholarly consensus, based on over three decades of peer-reviewed research, that having a gay or lesbian parent does not harm children."
And in 2014, an American Sociological Association review of more than 40 studies also concluded that children raised by same-sex couples fare as well as other children across a number of wellbeing measures, including academic performance, cognitive development, social development, and psychological health.
"It's essential that we recognise the potential for the debate about marriage equality to cause harm for our children and young people," senior author Professor Frank Oberklaid said.
Young people who expressed diversity in their sexual orientation or gender identity experience some of the highest rates of psychological distress in Australia.
"Young LGBTIQ+ people are much more likely to experience poor mental health, self-harm and suicide than other young people," Oberklaid said.
"Sadly, this is largely attributed to the harassment, stigma and discrimination they and other LGBTIQ+ individuals and communities face in our society."
There was solid evidence in countries that have legalised same-sex marriage that it has had a positive impact on the mental health and wellbeing of same-sex parented families and LGBTIQ+ young people.
New Zealand's latest Census results showed that, of 469,290 couple with children families, 1476 were same-sex couples with children.
Most same-sex couples with children - nearly 80 per cent - were female.
An earlier snapshot, drawing on previous Census data, showed the majority of people in a same-sex partnership had no dependent or adult children.
The 2010 report by Stats NZ found that if people in a same-sex partnership were parents, they were most likely to have one dependent child, whereas parents in an opposite-sex partnership were most likely to have at least two dependent children.