James Dobson and Focus on the Family are being accused of manipulating research to conclude that gays are not good parents. In protest, a group of gays Monday began a 65 mile march from Denver to Colorado Springs. The march will end on July 22.

Judith Stacey, a sociologist at New York University, issued a report (pdf) addressing whether the sexual orientation of parents mattered. She says Dobson and Focus on the Family misrepresented her findings.

Stacy… said her work was manipulated in an attempt to show gays and lesbians do not make good parents. “This is a direct misrepresentation of the research,” she said.

Focus on the Family’s response has been to cite another research report, one by Mary Parke, a policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy, who wrote a report (pdf) saying children needed both a mother and a father. However, at page 66 of her report, she explicitly acknowledges that gay and lesbian unions and marriages were not considered.

Focus’ spokesman, Glenn Stanton, says “”We haven’t said anything about sexual orientation.”

A quick google search on Dobson shows that he has criticized gay parenting. Take this Larry King appearance:

In a rare media appearance outside his own Focus broadcasting, Dobson discussed child abuse, condom use, Islam, prayer and partial-birth abortion in an hourlong exchange with King that returned to homosexuality.

Dobson said he is opposed to allowing homosexual couples to adopt children. “There are hundreds, if not thousands, of articles and studies in the journals that show that children do best when you have a mother and a father providing role modeling for those kids and who are committed to each other.”

He agreed with King that there are gay couples who raise children well, but said, “You don’t base your policies on the exceptions.” Children raised by same-sex parents have only one role model, which means “they also tend to be confused in their gender.”

More details of the protest march are here.