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Friday, March 10, 2006

Just Because I Wanted To (Pt. 1)

Occasionally the topic of gay and lesbian couples adopting kids wanders through the news. So, to reduce a complex subject to a few simple statements, I just wanted to add my thoughts to the mix.

Simple statement 1: Some of the worst parents I’ve known have been heterosexual. For that matter, some of the worst foster parents that I’ve known have been heterosexual and highly religious.

Simple statement 2: One of the best sets of parents that I’ve known was gay. My experience is limited, I admit, but these two made an exceptional impression on me.

Simple statement 3: I have yet to see any data to convince me that having gay parents is in any way harmful to their children.

Providing kids with a stable, loving home seems to be a pretty good goal. If that stable, loving home happens to have supportive, caring, same sex parents, I don’t see that as a bad thing.

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What I love is that uber-cons who think the government can’t do anything right when it comes to social matters would rather see these kids in the care of government agencies than loving homes.

on Mar 11 2006 @ 10:37 AM

My personal opinion is as an adoptee I’d rather see children be adopted by a gay couple then end up in some dumpster.

on Mar 11 2006 @ 10:49 AM

Well lest anyone wonder, we have a war on our hands this year. The religious right is pushing a constitutional amendment banning marriage (again--it’s already banned by statute) for gay people, and we are coming back at them with the Colorado Domestic Partnership Rights and Responsibilities Referendum, which will ask voters to grant all of the state rights and responsibilities to same-sex couples that straight couples already enjoy (with or without a marriage certificate--Colorado is an unrestricted common law state).

If we don’t pass this thing, Dobson will come back in ‘08 with a constitutional amendment banning adoption by gay couples as he is doing this year in 16 states across the nation. Currently, Colorado only bans second-parent adoption by gay couples (which is bad enough because it leaves the child with the legal protection of only one parent), but Dobson’s amendments around the country make it impossible for an adoption to occur if there is a gay or bisexual person in the household.

The domestic partnership referendum would hopefully ward off Dobson’s adoption ban by clearly signaling the voter’s intent. It also greatly enhances the protection of kids of same-sex couples, because it allows for second-parent adoption, mandates fiduciary responsibility on the part of both parents, inheritance from both parents if they die, child support and custody arrangements if they break up, the ability to be the beneficiary of workers comp if a parent is killed on the job, and every other protection that kids of straight parents already have but are denied to kids of same-sex parents.

So give or volunteer already!

David, I could use your artistic help on the web site. And I haven’t done anything nice for the blog--it just has a default template. Look at it. Yeesh! I’ve been so totally consumed by IT and back-office stuff that I haven’t had time to spend on the web site.

on Mar 11 2006 @ 11:17 AM

I’m not going to get into the “rightness” or “wrongness” of your argument, except to note that n=1 is an incredibly small sample to generalize from.

Just sayin’.

on Mar 11 2006 @ 11:50 AM

Personally, I love false dichotomies.

on Mar 11 2006 @ 01:06 PM

Bryan, I wouldn’t consider what I wrote a real argument and I would also agree that my own personal experience--especially as limited as it is--would be a good study. That said, I go back to the idea of wanting to be convinced that there is a good reason to exclude gay couples from being parents.

Nathan, if I’ve presented a false dichotomy, it wasn’t on purpose. I’m not saying that, for children in our society, there is only a choice between bad heterosexual parents and good gay parents. Or, at least, that’s not what I’m trying to say. What I am trying to say is that the ideal situation for kids is a supportive, loving, consistent home with good parents who can provide the children with the guidance that they need to get through life. In many ways, that ideal to me is a straight couple (the reasoning behind that would fill an entire post), but that it doesn’t preclude the idea that the best situation for a child might be with a gay couple.

I’m saying that the idea that gay couples can’t be good parents is an idea that I know, from a personal experience, simply isn’t true. The story that prompted this was about a Catholic agency that was going to stop providing adoption services because state law was going to force them to consider gay couples when placing children. I can’t condemn them for their reluctance, but I can say that I disagree with the premise that gay couples are automatically unfit parents.

I admit that I’ve reduced the issue to an overly simplistic three sets of points--and that those points aren’t going to convince anyone to change their minds. That wasn’t my goal; my goal was to bluntly make a few statements that put me on a map on a certain issue.

That was probably a poor goal and I can see that I’ll need to flesh the thoughts out into a coherent argument. Until then, I’ll gladly read dissent and agreement and see where the conversation goes.

on Mar 11 2006 @ 05:15 PM

Mike, I do support that cause. I would be happy to help if I can so feel free to contact me and I’ll see if there is anything I can do to assist.

on Mar 11 2006 @ 05:16 PM

Sometimes I just like being snarky, so no worries on my side.

on Mar 11 2006 @ 10:12 PM

Wait, I do have something else to say:

“...Hell, you need a license to catch a fish!  But they’ll let any butt-reaming asshole can be a father.”

Which is kind of what you’re saying, right?  Except that I don’t think Keanu was trying to imply homosexual couples.  Still, it works.

on Mar 11 2006 @ 10:18 PM

David,

Good post, brave post. I wrote a bit on this for a not-online publication a few years ago, but the esteemable Julian Sanchez did a good piece on it not that long ago, available here: http://www.reason.com/0508/fe.js.all.shtml

on Mar 12 2006 @ 08:57 AM
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