Backlash Against Gay Adoption

|

From a USA Today story about gay adoption backlash:

Efforts to ban gays and lesbians from adopting children are emerging across the USA as a second front in the culture wars that began during the 2004 elections over same-sex marriage.

Steps to pass laws or secure November ballot initiatives are underway in at least 16 states, adoption, gay rights and conservative groups say. Some—such as Ohio, Georgia and Kentucky—approved constitutional amendments in 2004 banning gay marriage

Whole thing here.

A few months back, Reason's Julian Sanchez limned "the looming battle over gay parenting" and suggested that opponents

…visit Florida and ask a child in foster care which makes him feel more threatened: the thought of being raised by homosexuals, or the prospect of an indefinite number of years spent passing through an indefinite number of homes. They could ask whether "family values" are best served by attempting to marginalize gay couples who raise families, by "protecting" abused or sick children from people who want to give them a home, by forcing parents to worry whether they'll have the legal authority to bring their kids to the hospital in an emergency.

Whole thing here.

NEXT: Dems Shocked to Learn Marines Kill People, or, Why the Right Side of the Ruling Party Keeps Winning

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. urge to kill…rising…

  2. This is surprising why?

    Mid-Term elections are coming up and the right needs something to get their base to the polls. It’s not like they’ve been having that stellar a couple of years otherwise.

    I dunno what’s worse. Campaigning on the “hate the gay” platform. Or that platform being effective.

    Glad to see that concepts like equality and tolerance never took hold in this great land of ours.

  3. “visit Florida and ask a child in foster care which makes him feel more threatened: the thought of being raised by homosexuals, or the prospect of an indefinite number of years spent passing through an indefinite number of homes.”

    Well, we all know what the kids would say. They would say that they’d rather live in a loving homosexual family than be tossed around like ragdolls looking for the right hetero family.

    Of course they’ll say that. That’s because they’re too young to realize the evils that homosexuality wreaks on society and individuals! You see, as we grow older, and are more attuned to the real and spiritual world around us, the more we realize that those ho-moes pose much more of a threat to children than, say, an abusive foster parent, or getting passed from family to family. That shit can be overcome—acceptance of homosexuality, well, that’s not so easy to forget!

    [/sarcasm]

    Seriously, though, that’s pretty much the attitude that these fucking dirtbags have. Makes me ill.

  4. What would, say, Ben Shapiro think about this.

    wonder….

    …wonder…

    ……wonder……

  5. What would, say, Ben Shapiro think about this.

    Whatever it is, I’m getting laid and he’s not.

  6. I must say I find it completely bizarre how much conservatives think about homosexuals. They think about them WAY more than liberals do — probably more than homosexuals do!

    Honestly. Can someone please explain this to me? I mean, even if you really do think the Bible prohibits homosexuality, does anything in the Bible indicate that it the MAIN or WORST sin?

    To me it seems basically a peripheral issue. I am neither pro or con gay. I don’t really care what gay people do, except the gay people I know and care about as friends. How… in what political cosmology… is this a central issue?

    What’s behind the obsession? I honestly want to understand.

  7. some people find it hard to smile in the face of perversity, i guess.

  8. Touchy subject. We better leave this decision up to the religious right, the folks who wisely responded to widespread cases of child rape by priests by saying, “Why does the media have to keep talking about this?”

  9. The foster child would probably say, “What the hell does marginalize mean?”

  10. I haven’t read these bills, but how exactly do they keeps kids away from gay homes?

    Will adoptions be restricted to only married couples? No single men or woman? They can’t have “friends”, or track lighting?

  11. Realish:

    as you can see from the post immediately above yours, fundies don’t get laid. nonfundies do. so they hate all that has to do with sex. they want our inflatible noam chomsky hump dolls, they want our leather-bound copy of “Heather Has Two Mommies” (the one with the sweaty pillow fight scene on page 69), and they want to prevent the Captain from being placed anywhere.

    It’s just a problem getting some, that’s all.

    Or they’re just a bunch of fucking control freaks, and homosexuality has the right amount of “ick factor” for many people, so they wouldn’t stand up and fight!

    cheerio.

  12. Bottom line, to me, is who ?owns? the kid? OK, parental rights to the kid…

    They should be able to decide. If the rights are being taken away because the parents are unfit, then an advocate for the child should decide, and aunt perhaps. Hopefully not the state.

    Of course, I also think you should be able to sell your parental rights before, say, 12 months of age.

  13. Actually, Realish and Viking:

    The bible states (book of Leviticus) that god commands that certain sexual practices be punishable by death (homosexuality, beastiality, incest). Therefore, fundamentalist Christians believe that homosexuals should be ostracised from society. Banning their marriages and their ability to raise (and influence) children is
    what follows since they really believe you shouldn’t have a right to willfully practice these behaviors which are banned by their god.

  14. Anyone who’s actually hung around kids would know that a majority would choose foster care over the homosexual couple… kids are, in general, much more “tribal” than adults and no kid wants to be the one in school whose parents are “fags”. Being raised by foster parents isn’t going to engender nearly as much bullying and shame as being raised by a gay couple.

  15. Just to provide a little more grist for the mill here…Dan Savage recently said in an interview something to the effect of: homophobia is really just a stand in for misogyny, so when someone is emphatically homophobic, there’s a good chance it’s because they fear the feminine behavior in some of the fags they see. And because it’s getting a bit less acceptable these days to just be straight-up misogynistic, much of that fear or hatred is channeled toward queers.
    Sounds plausible to me as one angle on the issue.
    Also, it’s no surprise that this is typically a religious issue seeing as how one of the central fetishes of many religions is to increase and even glorify human suffering; hence, the insensitivity to the plight of foster children.
    Of course it could be that the average American is an easily manipulated rube who’s been tricked into thinking that this should be an actual issue.
    Whatever the best explanation, and I’ve only listed a few, it should make the average sentient American want to either hide under a rock or consider moving someplace a bit more sensible.

  16. Duckman! cool nic!
    🙂
    but Duckie, yup, have heard those references before, but since there are talks about slavery, too, should we infer that fundies like that, too. (just being silly there, not intending to get into discussions about the bible, since that’s not my book)

    the “fundies don’t get any” is much more of a consistent argument. grin.

    (plus, as you can guess, it’s more fun being whimsical on days like this – nobody’s mind is gonna get changed. the only argument i really can’t stand is: “i’m against it because it gets the liberals mad”. then Steven Crane will violate that person with his, um, special blow up doll!!!)

    merkinworld.com

  17. Being raised by foster parents isn’t going to engender nearly as much bullying and shame as being raised by a gay couple.

    You beat me to it.

    Hell, I wanted nothing to do with faggots as a kid even though I knew all along I was one. That’s how ingrained the disgust is in society.

  18. “The bible states (book of Leviticus)”…
    Leviticus is pretty fucked up. I doubt that there would be many people left standing if all of its priestly rites and rules were carried out to the letter in modern-day America. That slope is as slippery as they come. Although, having said that, I’ve always wanted to start an organization called the Levitican Liberation Front that plucks out random quotes and prints them on signs to be carried at fundie rallies. I don’t have my bible in front of me, but I know that the avoidance of menstrual blood figures prominently in several verses.

  19. The bible states (book of Leviticus) that god commands that certain sexual practices be punishable by death (homosexuality, beastiality, incest)

    Yes, yes, I know the argument.

    But it’s just one of many Old Testament rules, of varying crazy-tude. After that comes the whole New Testament thing about loving your enemies as yourself and forgiving and whatnot.

    But like I said, even if you accept this twisted theology, how is homosexuality SO important? I mean … greed? Sloth? False gods? Murder? So many other sins are a) more severe and b) more common that teh gey. Shouldn’t righties at least try to rationalize their priorities? Eliminate the wife-coveting, and then tackle gayness. No?

    It just strikes me as some kind of mass insanity, some strange fixation, that everyone is forced to take seriously despite its obvious, you know, insanity. Sigh.

  20. Eliminate the wife-coveting, and then tackle gayness. No?

    Except teh gay is such an easy target among many of their flock. Especially when you’re looking for a diversion as ChicagoTom mentioned.

  21. P.J. O’Rourke said something on this topic. I paraphrase:

    I am such an extreme Republican that I support gay marriage and adoption. If gay people get married and raise kids, pretty soon they’ll be living in suburbs, driving SUV’s and voting Republican.

  22. Realish:
    But like I said, even if you accept this twisted theology, how is homosexuality SO important?
    I have asked myself the same thing, and after many, many (regrettable) hours spent at Free Republic, I have a better idea of the problem now. In their eyes, the difference between this sin and many others is this:
    * Given: Homosexuality is a disease, a disorder, a “same-sex attraction” which indicates a severe psychological imbalance
    * Through the actions of Marxists and liberals, this disease has been removed from the disorder list and is now praised “as an equally valid alternative lifestyle”
    * The above two points are so mind-bogglingly scary why? Because unlike murder, rape, drug abuse, voting Democrat: gays actually claim there is nothing wrong with their actions. They’re proud of it! They are trying to redefine normal to be whatever feels good, and this is the true threat to our society: to make the bad not only not-bad, but good.
    This is the reason for the hatred, the fear, the loathing that the truly faithful show towards gays. They are convinced that our dedication to our “sin” belies our true intent: to remove all morality and right-ness from the family, from government, from the world. Among our ultimate aims are the conversion of children, the eradication of marriage as an institution, and the lowering of the age of consent to 12 or less. And no, I am not making that last part up.
    I have even seen, in recent weeks, stern reminders towards other posters to never refer to gays “loving” each other. According to them, we don’t love our partners; we just use the word because either we are sick or we want to destroy the meaning of the word, but it is important for all good Christians to remember that we don’t love.
    I could go on, and in depressing detail. But the level of threat to gays in rising, and in many ways this exposure has eclipsed other political concerns for me.
    (For those of you who will ask, rightly, why a gay man would spend any time at all researching this crap, let alone a lot of time, the answer is that while i can read gay blogs and feel all validated and cheer minor successes here and there, I feel it is more imporant to keep an eye on those whom I consider, more and more each day, the enemy.)

  23. Why are people so hateful about this issue?

    It makes no sense to me when people say “I hate those who hate gays, because they’re so hateful.”

  24. MarkP,
    The same reason it is acceptable to hate racists but not black people.

  25. MarkP;
    I’m not sure where you are going with your comment, but I can tell you a) I fear those “hateful homophobes” more than hate them b)hate may be a natural response against those who want to constrict and constrain your every expression of life, public and private, based solely on whom you want to bang.

  26. Torrent’s correct. I’ve spent some time, and about $3 in user fees, at the New Oxford Review, Catholic Answers, Focus on the Family and Chalcedon Institute sites. They make the argument (to be fair, Focus much less so than the others) that God created society with a certain order and that gays and women with jobs violate that order. Thus, the fact that I don’t use my husband’s surname is blasphemy because it contravenes God’s divine plan for my subjugation. Of course, to them, women aren’t subjugated, we voluntarily submit to our husbands to demonstrate our obedience to God’s will, etc, etc. Gays violate God’s order because one member of the couple is stepping outside of his or her created role; one member of a lesbian couple would be dominant and one gay male submissive. You will notice that the nutters don’t entertain the idea that maybe marriage doesn’t require either partner to be a permanent doormat. Thus, gay rights and feminism are the same thing and equally evil.

    I recommend that the strong of stomach repeat torrent’s and my research. It’s interesting.

  27. But the level of threat to gays in rising, and in many ways this exposure has eclipsed other political concerns for me.

    The naive optimist in me wants to believe that the anti-gay movement that we have been seeing since the Mass. SC ruling is part of a “it will get worse before it gets better” theme and that this is just the “worse” part that is precluding things getting better.

    I want to believe that public opinion towards gays is as low as it ever will get at this point, and it has no where to go but up. But I won’t hold my breath, because there isn’t very much out there that would validate such optimism

    It makes no sense to me when people say “I hate those who hate gays, because they’re so hateful.”

    It only makes no sense if you have a “it’s wrong to hate at all” mindset. I would argue that most people don’t think its wrong to hate in any circumstance, and in fact believe its very right to hate and heap scorn upon people who are nasty and full of irrational hatred towards anyone who is different or derives pleasure from seeing others suffer.

  28. it is acceptable to hate racists but not black people.

    How about black racists? Can I hate them?

  29. CTom:
    The naive optimist in me wants to believe that the anti-gay movement that we have been seeing since the Mass. SC ruling is part of a “it will get worse before it gets better” theme and that this is just the “worse” part that is precluding things getting better.
    This has been my thought too, for awhile now, but sometimes when the pendulum is swinging low enough to cut your head off, it’s hard to hope.

  30. I see the recent negative events as the result of the enormous strides that have been made in the gay community over the last few decades. A lot of doors have been opened and the fundies are now pushing back, but in the long run this seems to be the last gasp for them. I know my generation (born in mid-60’s) and younger are not that hung up on the gay issue.

    Question – would you rather be gay now or 20 years ago?

  31. Realish: no, there is nothing in the Bible to suggest that homosexuality – or anything to do with sex, actually – is any worse or ickier or more hell-deserving than anything else. In the NT, of course, there is nothing about it at all from Jesus and maybe one line from Paul. I think fundies concentrate on sex above all other sins (greed, gluttony, pride, sloth, etc) because 1) human beings are just obsessed with sex 2) people who are under religious constraint not to do certain things are therefore more inclined to think about those things (cf. fundy Muslims and anything related to women and sex) and 3) sexual sin is easier to spot than others. Pride, greed, deceit, etc. are much worse than sexual sin, but you can’t see what others are thinking or feeling. You can, however, see what they’re doing, particularly if you’re nosy.

    Then there are traditional, practicing Christians like moi who a) don’t really know what God thinks about gay people and b) don’t think it’s really any of our business and c) don’t see anything particularly awful about homosexuality in general or homosexuals specifically and d)think gay people should be allowed to get married or at the very least be given the same legal rights and protections the rest of us have and e) think that if homosexuality is a sin, it’s just a sexual sin like fornication or adultery and nobody talks fornicators and adulterers automatically going to hell and f) if fundies would allow gay people in church maybe they wouldn’t wear such horrible clothes and hairstyles and g) what the hell part about “nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus Christ” don’t those jackasses understand????

    And another thing – foster care is bad enough, but foster care in a place like Florida, which has a record of losing track of children in its care and failing to remove children from abusive homes, is a nightmare. People who claim that children would be harmed more by living with gay people than by living in a provably abusive foster care system are idiots and moral cretins, and even my fundamentalist Southern Baptist Texan 71 year old mother can see that.

  32. Well, Scott, I’d rather be married, but that’s just the selfish, unable-to-commit fag in me. 🙂

    Actually, I agree on the waiting game (that recent poll on teen attitudes towards gays was heartening, as was the recent one from Ireland), but since the tools of the anti-gay contingent now include constitutional amendments, their “last gasp” may take decades to reverse.

  33. …no, there is nothing in the Bible to suggest that homosexuality – or anything to do with sex, actually – is any worse or ickier or more hell-deserving than anything else.

    In the greater sense, with the idea that every sin that required the death of Jesus is equally bad, I suppose this is true. …but, of course, there are degrees of interpretation.

    …but if you want to get specific, I think the Bible does suggest that some sins are worse than others, take those in the Ten Commandments for example. As Christianity is a reform of Judaism, I don’t worry much about whether homosexuality is a sin or, for that matter, whether eating a roast beef sandwich with cheese is a sin. I know the former doesn’t involve me, but the latter, I guess, does.

    …but the Ten Commandments still seem really important in the New Testament, regardless. I guess what I’m tryin’ to say is that even if homosexuality, or gettin’ a roast beef with cheddar down at the Subway, is a sin, I don’t think it’s as bad as, say, lying. …and Jesus died for liars, you know.

    Anyway, those that think people should be treated differently solely for being gay, I wish they wouldn’t call themselves “Christians” anymore. …’cause they seem to be denying the value of Christ’s sacrifice, and that’s kinda what it’s all about, to me anyway. Jesus either died for these people or he didn’t, and being a “Christian”, to me, sorta means that you think Jesus died for gay people too.

    I wish I could help with a better name, but I can’t really think of a good alternative for people who want to discriminate against people for the sole reason of being gay, so, for now, I’m just gonna stick with “bigot”. …Can anyone out there think of a better term? Whatever you want to call them, I don’t think they’re compatible with Christianity.

  34. James, my only objection to your comment on the LCR that has even a shred of legitimacy is that when actual gay candidates run for office as a GOP, then the LCR can support a GOP candidate with something like the confidence that other GLBT groups have in supporting Democratic candidates. Jeff Cook is my underdog hope for the year.

  35. “marriage doesn’t require either partner to be a permanent doormat.”

    That’s what being a switch is all about!

  36. Since it’s not much of a secret that transracial adoptions still have bureaucratic obstacles, gay adoptions surely still have a long row to hoe.

    It’s never REALLY about the children, is it?

  37. …approved constitutional amendments in 2004 banning gay marriage.

    Most of them went much farther than this.

  38. Gays violate God’s order because one member of the couple is stepping outside of his or her created role; one member of a lesbian couple would be dominant and one gay male submissive.

    Interesting idea, that. Somehow I doubt they’d be any more charitable toward the many couples in which neither member is markedly “dominant” over the over.

  39. Rhywyn, based on what I’ve read, they wouldn’t like it any better. In fact, I think most of consider egalitarian relationships impossible in any circumstances. My husband and I are no better, because I have a job, kept my maiden name, and he helps with the housework. They are completely obsessed with sex and gender.

  40. The foster child would probably say, “What the hell does marginalize mean?”

    Given the amount of time typical institutionalized children spend with social workers of all stripes, they tend to have an extensive vocabulary of such jargon.

  41. I used to cheer when Republicans won now I’m hoping the Democrats whoop them good. And the open hatred that Republicans have for gays is one major reason. Bush and his FDR imperialism is another. The Religious Right is our version of the Taliban. Real conservatives and libertarians have been abandoned by the GOP and need to return the favor.

  42. How much of the anti-gay adoption stance, I wonder, springs from the dubious belief that gay men are more likely to molest children than straight men?

    To me, the idea that kids will be picked on for having gay parents is probably true to some extent. But that is so obviously outweighed by the disadvantages of living in foster care (or at an orphanage) that I think that must be, at least to some extent, a pretext for their fear of molestation.

  43. While I appreciate the problem, it’s not like there has been this centuries old tradition of allowing gays to adopt that is now being usurped.

  44. Some states will of course go out of the way to promote adopts by gay people, which will prompt the Republican party to try and pass a federal constitutional amendment banning such practices.

  45. You’re right–just a centuries old tradition of discrimination against gays being codified, one legality at a time.
    And, in a sense, this is an old tradition being changed, since closeted and married gays were allowed to adopt, since the state didn’t know they were gay. Now that more gays don’t live in hiding, the state wants to treat them differently

  46. emerson: that is a lot of it, actually. Most of these people go back to the Anita Bryant line that we are “recruiting” through adoption and liberal changes to school curricula. And recruiting necessarily means molestation.
    More cheery insight–Free Republic tags all its stories in its database, and anything involving pedophilia or child molestation of any kind is tagged as “homosexual agenda”, the same as gay marriage or any kind of anti-discrimination bill in the news. Pedophilia is ipso facto part of being gay.
    (Not sure if I used that Latin right, but I’m too tired to care.)

  47. To me, the idea that kids will be picked on for having gay parents is probably true to some extent.

    And yet, once upon a time you could say the same thing for the children of interracial marriages as well.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.