A British professor testified in a same-sex marriage trial in San Francisco today that children aren’t hurt by having gay parents and would benefit if those parents could be married.

Michael Lamb is a professor who heads the department of Social and Developmental Psychology at Cambridge University.

He was brought to the witness stand by lawyers for two same-sex couples who claim that Proposition 8, California’s ban on gay marriage, violates their federal constitutional rights.

The trial before U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker began Monday and is the nation’s first federal trial on a U.S. constitutional challenge to restrictions on same-sex marriage.

Lamb testified that studies show that children who are not genetically related to their parents “are just as likely to be well-adjusted as children raised by biological parents.”

He said research suggests that the most important factor in good outcomes for children is not the gender of the parents but rather “the quality of their relationship with their parents, the quality of the relationship between parents, and the social and economic resources available to the family.”

He said that children prosper when their parents are married because being part of “a recognized social institution” is beneficial to children.

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