Maggie Gallagher

Sounds judgmental in print. But up close, Cassidy comes across as fiercely protective of her mom (Cassidy is a pen name she's adopted to protect her mom's privacy). Like many children of same-sex parents, she was expected to defend and protect her mothers from society's homophobia. Her own troubled feelings about her family life were clearly unacceptable to her parents. Even now, the prospect of speaking about her own experience gives her the shakes.

Cassidy's story is not science. It's just her own feelings. Many researchers say most kids do just fine in these alternative family forms. Cassidy doesn't buy that research, though. "I don't think a fair study could be conducted because children currently in that family wouldn't necessarily be open to speaking their true feelings about it."

A few years back, she watched "20/20" interviews with children like her. "They were asked questions like: 'Are you happy? Do you love your parents?' I don't think it's fair to ask them those questions. These are their parents. They aren't going to say they are suffering, because they don't want to make their parents feel bad."

Some people will say if Cassidy's mom and "my Pat" had been legally married, everything would have been fine. Cassidy doesn't think so. "Even if society were open to it, there's just the whole issue of your self-identity. I always had the feeling I was in a lab experiment."

She feels driven to do something, say something to protect other children like her. "Whenever I see it on TV, something inside of me says NO. I don't think it's fair that the kids are being put in this situation. They don't have a choice about it."

Do any other adult children with same-sex parents feel the same way? Will we allow any space in this intense debate between adult combatants for something as simple as one child's feelings?

Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.