(CNN) -- From personal stories of growing up with gay parents to challenges of what defines a family, the public's comments on same-sex couples having families was supportive and critical, calm and heated -- sometimes all in one conversation thread.
In CNN's documentary "Gary and Tony Have a Baby," Soledad O'Brien follows a gay couple in their struggle through the legal and personal obstacles to become parents. We asked readers and viewers what they thought about gay couples having families.
"Whether they are gay as a couple, or gay as a single parent -- as long as they love and nourish that child it will make absolutely no difference. Compared to the atrocious things that we read here on CNN about what parents do to their children, being raised by a gay parent will be a blessing," says one reader. "I work in a medical clinic and believe me, the large number of gay people/couples that we see are a helluva lot more 'normal' (and pleasant) than the straight people/couples!"
Others said that while they were against same-sex marriage, they saw no reason for sexual orientation to prevent having children through adoption or other means.
"My morals and my religion agree that marriage is between a man and a woman," says one reader. "[But] I don't mind gays adopting."
Another said: "Marriage is an institution created by God to join a man and a women. That being said, children do need someone to love and if that person is psychologically sound, physically fit and has the wherewithal to create a supportive and loving environment for the child, it would [be] hard for me to say no way."
Some said having same-sex parents would harm the child. "Children being raised by gay couples can easily be targeted by bullies," said one reader. "These children will go through a great suffering because they will be confused as to why they don't [have] a daddy or a mommy. It's a shame that the children are being exposed to something that God is against."
Another wrote: "If there is a mother and father possibility, [a child] should always go in the favor of the normal mother and father situation. It is the responsibility of those in charge to give them the best chance to survive in a culture that is normally straight. I am not against gays, but I do think there is a reality that one gender of parents is not the norm."
Other readers shared their stories of growing up with same-sex parents or being a gay parent themselves.
"As a gay single man, it has been my honor to adopt four wonderful children," one reader wrote. "Over the years we have encountered the typical family pressures as everyone else. Our only outward difference is that I am Caucasian and my children are African-American. Two of my four boys are now 18 and 19. Both are headed to college. My younger two are 15 and 16 now. Both successful high school students, happy and well adjusted (well as adjusted as a teenager can be!). ... My kids know about my life and were told when they were young. I have kept no secrets. ... Parenting means being there for your child. It mean participating in their lives. Loving them. Listening to their goals, biting your tongue when necessary and losing your mind when needed."
Another said, "My parents love me, that's all that matters. What makes you a better parent then mine? Because you're a Christian? Because you are straight? They love me and that's all that matters. They push me to succeed, and make me the best person I can be. Isn't that what being a parent is, loving you for who you are?"