Minnesota Senator Al Franken on Wednesday disputed Focus on the Family official Tom Minnery's testimony in support of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

In his testimony at the first-ever Senate hearing on repeal of the law that bans federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples, Minnery, the head of the group's political arm, CitizenLink, stated that children fare better in a household headed by a married father and mother.

Minnery cited a 2010 Department of Health and Human Services study to support his conclusion.

“I checked the study out,” Franken told Minnery. “It doesn't actually say what you said it says. It says 'nuclear families' not 'opposite-sex couples.'”

“Isn't it true, Mr. Minnery, that a same-sex couple would fall under the definition of nuclear family?” Franken asked.

“I would assume it would mean a family with a husband and wife,” Minnery responded.

“It doesn't. I frankly don't know how we can trust the rest of your testimony if you are reading studies this way,” Franken concluded. (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)

In reporting the exchange, the Minnesota Independent noted: “Franken is correct in his reading of the study. HHS defines a nuclear family as one that consists of 'one or more children living with two parents who are married to one another and are each biological or adoptive parents to all children in the family.'”