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Rise Of Same-Sex Adoptions Deflates Right-Wing Talking Point On Marriage

June 15, 2011 11:57 am ET by Carlos Maza

Adoptions by gay and lesbian couples are on the rise across the U.S., despite significant legal obstacles that leave many of these couples and their families unprotected. A June 13 New York Times article reports that, according to new census data, a growing number of same-sex couples are starting families even if they can’t legally marry:

Same-sex couples are explicitly prohibited from adopting in only two states -- Utah and Mississippi -- but they face significant legal hurdles in about half of all other states, particularly because they cannot legally marry in those states.

Despite this legal patchwork, the percentage of same-sex parents with adopted children has risen sharply. About 19 percent of same-sex couples raising children reported having an adopted child in the house in 2009, up from just 8 percent in 2000, according to Gary Gates, a demographer at the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The trend line is absolutely straight up,” said Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a nonprofit organization working to change adoption policy and practice. “It’s now a reality on the ground.” [emphasis added]

This census data puts these marriage equality opponents in a tough spot. Ostensibly, the whole point of denying gay and lesbian couples the right to marry is to protect children -- even children stuck in the foster care system -- from being raised by two parents of the same sex.

Here’s what anti-gay activists have been saying about the issue:

Maggie Gallagher, chairwoman of the National Organization for Marriage:

Marriage is our most basic social institution for protecting children. Same-sex marriage amounts to a vast social experiment on children. Rewriting the basic rules of marriage puts all children, not just the children in unisex unions, at risk. [Townhall.com, 1/8/04, emphasis added]

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council:

[I]t is the powerful dynamic of a mother, father, and children that creates those bonds of family that form the bedrock of all societies and provide the best environment for raising children—as social science has clearly demonstrated. Children need both a mom and a dad, not just two adults. These are compelling, scientific reasons to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. They expose the arguments of same-sex advocates as self-serving talking points with no basis in human nature and American history. [U.S. News & World Report3/14/11, emphasis added]

Chuck Donovan, Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation:

Americans are a tolerant people desirous of living with their fellow citizens in concord and without unreasonable demands, public or private. But the public institution of marriage is one request that champions of the family make with the best reason of all: Millions of children are born each year in the United States without the benefits that married parents can uniquely confer on them. As the nation seeks to regain its economic and social footing, it is time not to blur the meaning of marriage further but to rebuild it for the good of future generations. [American Family Association of Indiana, 5/6/11, emphasis added]

An Alliance Defense Fund brief on the “specific harms” of same-sex marriage:

Who is not necessary to raise a child: the father or the mother? The significant social programs that President Obama decries in the inner city come from children lacking fathers. They are living out the full consequences of the norm that “personal sexual fulfillment is the ultimate goal for each individual.” [ADF Brief, accessed 6/14/11]

Rick Santorum, 2012 GOP presidential candidate:

Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Why? Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that’s what? Children. [USA Today4/23/03]

As the New York Times reports, however, the lack of marriage equality hasn’t stopped same-sex couples from adopting and raising children in increasing numbers:

Most of the legal obstacles facing gay couples intending to adopt stem from prohibitions on marriage, according to the Family Equality Council, an advocacy group for gay families. In most states, gay singles are permitted to adopt.

[…]

But laws and politics aside, advocates say that more adoption agencies and social workers are seeing same-sex couples as a badly needed resource for children in government care.

“The reality is we really need foster and adoptive parents, and it doesn’t matter what the relationship is,” said Moira Weir, director of the job and family services department in Hamilton County, Ohio. “If they can provide a safe and loving home for a child, isn’t that what we want?” [emphasis added]

In other words, denying gay and lesbian couples the right to marry doesn’t actually stop children from being raised in same-sex households.

Rather, it denies same-sex couples and their children access to the basic protections and privileges afforded to married heterosexual couples and their children.

This fact further demonstrates how children are just a smokescreen for NOM’s larger war against the rights and liberties of the LGBT community in general.

As NOM begins to shift its focus to promoting anti-gay discrimination in adoption services, expect vulnerable foster kids to be treated as little more than collateral damage.

Previously:

NOM, LifeSiteNews Peddle Obvious Distortion About Adoption Anti-Discrimination Bill

IL Catholic Group Puts Anti-Gay Agenda Before The Needs Of Foster Children

With New Adoption Bill, Obama Has A Chance To Advance The Debate Over Marriage Equality




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