January 3, 2009
One Side Fits All
Perhaps I just missed it...
I read this story about the Arkansas chapter of the ACLU filing a lawsuit to overturn the will of the voters in that state (stop me if you've heard this before) to restrict adoption to married couples. I read all the way through it, all the arguments advanced by the plaintiffs in that and several other lawsuits, all the fulminations about how the new law is "unconstitutional."
But nowhere, in the entire article, does the Associated Press even trouble to ask any supporter of the law why he thinks it's legitimate... a new citizens initiative that (stop me if you've heard this before) merely returns the law to the status quo ante, undoing the state Supreme Court decision that struck down the traditional understanding and ordered adoptions and fostering not to take into account the marital status of the new parents when awarding custody.
In fact, the only time they even admit that anyone supports the law (which passed 57-43) is to introduce a couple of bare facts:
The Arkansas Family Council, a conservative group that campaigned for the ban, said it was aimed at gay couples but the law will affect heterosexuals and homosexuals equally.
Jerry Cox, the council's president, said he had expected a lawsuit to be filed if the measure passed.
"We are confident this lawsuit will fail and Act 1 will remain on the books," Cox said.
By contrast, shills for the Left are allowed (encouraged) to explain their side:
"Act 1 violates the state's legal duty to place the best interest of children above all else," said Marie-Bernarde Miller, a Little Rock attorney in the lawsuit....
The group filed the lawsuit on behalf of 29 adults and children from more than a dozen families, including a grandmother who lives with her same-sex partner of nine years and is the only relative able and willing to adopt her grandchild, who is now in Arkansas state care. [So marital status is irrelevant, but a blood relationship is vital? How barbaric.]
The plaintiffs also include Stephanie Huffman and Wendy Rickman, a lesbian couple raising two sons together who want to adopt a foster child from the state.
"It's just wrong. It's an injustice," said Huffman, who lives in Conway. "I'm being denied an opportunity to provide a home for a special-needs child."
The families claim that the act's language was misleading to voters and that it violates their constitutional rights.
Evidently, the anti-marriage ACLU's side is so self-apparent to AP that asking them to allow the "opposition" (i.e., the traditional, American pro-marriage side) to respond is as outlandish as inviting an unrepentent, anti-American terrorist to be interviewed in a puff-piece published in the elite news media. Oh, wait...
As to being "misleading to voters," here is the text of the "ballot title" of the Arkansas Unmarried Couple Adoption Ban; the ballot title is the description of the initiative act that the voter sees at the top of the page (please excuse the all-caps; that's the way states seem to publish these things):
A PROPOSED ACT PROVIDING THAT A MINOR MAY NOT BE ADOPTED OR PLACED IN A FOSTER HOME IF THE INDIVIDUAL SEEKING TO ADOPT OR TO SERVE AS A FOSTER PARENT IS COHABITING WITH A SEXUAL PARTNER OUTSIDE OF A MARRIAGE WHICH IS VALID UNDER THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF THIS STATE; STATING THAT THE FOREGOING PROHIBITION APPLIES EQUALLY TO COHABITING OPPOSITE- SEX AND SAME-SEX INDIVIDUALS; STATING THAT THE ACT WILL NOT AFFECT THE GUARDIANSHIP OF MINORS; DEFINING “MINOR” TO MEAN AN INDIVIDUAL UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN (18) YEARS; STATING THAT THE PUBLIC POLICY OF THE STATE IS TO FAVOR MARRIAGE, AS DEFINED BY THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF THIS STATE, OVER UNMARRIED COHABITATION WITH REGARD TO ADOPTION AND FOSTER CARE; FINDING AND DECLARING ON BEHALF OF THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE THAT IT IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF CHILDREN IN NEED OF ADOPTION OR FOSTER CARE TO BE REARED IN HOMES IN WHICH ADOPTIVE OR FOSTER PARENTS ARE NOT COHABITING OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE; PROVIDING THAT THE DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES SHALL PROMULGATE REGULATIONS CONSISTENT WITH THE ACT; AND PROVIDING THAT THE ACT APPLIES PROSPECTIVELY BEGINNING ON JANUARY 1, 2009.
I'm not sure which part of this is misleading or even unclear. As to denying the "constitutional rights" of foster-parent or adoptive-parent wannabes... which constitutional rights would those be? Is there actually a constitutional right in Arkansas to adopt a kid? I rather doubt it.
Since AP appears unwilling to allow the pro-marriage side of the debate to speak, I must take up the conservative man's burden (despite my not being a conservative) and explain exactly why we should not allow same-sex couples or other sundry unmarried cohabitators to adopt a brood -- unless there is simply no other option (which is quite rare). So here goes:
Children ideally should have both a (male) father and a (female) mother:
(a) Every person has both "male" and "female" components to his personality that require training and nurturing by the corresponding sex parent... every child needs both sexes in his life, preferably as parents. Since the State is picking the parents, why not satisfy this need?
(b) Girls learn best how to be women from their mothers, while boys learn best how to be men from their fathers... women best know the special problems girls have, while men best know the special problems boys have.
- Children ideally should have parents whose commitment to the family extends at least far enough to get legally married. (The question of who is legally allowed to marry should be taken up in a separate initiative or legislative bill all its own.)
- The State has a vested interest in promoting and encouraging family arrangements that most closely approximate the ideal, and in discouraging or even prohibiting some arrangements -- polygamy, underaged marriage, etc. -- that swing dangerously far away from that ideal.
- The State has no authority to take children away from their birth parents, but it does have the primary responsibility to ensure that those children under its own care -- adoptive and foster children -- are placed in families that satisfy (3) above.
- The people of Arkansas have the right, and I argue the duty, to enact such laws by initiative when the state legislature is pathetically unable or unwilling to do so.
I don't undersand why this should not be obvious to at least 90% of the adult population; but at least it was obvious to a majority, and the Arkansas initiative passed by 14 points.
Evidently, however, it is not obvious to the Associated Press... which obtusity, when generalized, may go a long way towards explaining the financial quagmire in which the elite news media in this country finds itself in recent years.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, January 3, 2009, at the time of 3:38 AM
TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/3402
The following hissed in response by: BarbaraS
I realy would appreciate the government not sticking their noses in private lives. I am not in favor of abortion or abortion laws. I feel this is a private matter between the woman, her doctor and God. I feel it should not be forbidden by law and not sustained by government.
As far as adoption is concerned. Do these do- gooders think that a child is better off in foster homes moving from pillar to post every few years and maybe winding up with abusive foster parents is in the best interst of the child. I say even a gay household is better for the child than the foster care system. Adoptive parents can be more monitored than foster parents and are in this business for the child and not the money. And the idea that a child need both a father and mother is out of date. How many children today don't have one or the other? How many single people want a child but don't want a marriage? The grandmother's lifestyle in the AP story has no bearing on anything. She is the child's closest relative willing to take the child and the government has to say in the matter since this is a blood relationship
I don't believe in marriage between gay people but that should where the buck stops. I think this kind of marriage would break down the fabric of our lives but a child needs all the love he/she can get. They need it longer than the age of 18 when the state throws them out on their own.
The following hissed in response by: Dick E
As to denying the "constitutional rights" of foster-parent or adoptive-parent wannabes... which constitutional rights would those be?
I guess that depends on exactly what the Arkansas supreme court ruled. I assume their job is to determine the constitutionality of an issue. Perhaps they determined that the Arkansas constitution does, in fact, protect the right of homosexual couples to adopt. (That would be judicial activism, but that’s a separate issue.) If so, a law prohibiting such adoptions, even one passed by referendum, may in fact be unconstitutional.
I do not, however, dispute your overall premise.
The following hissed in response by: Sachi
I feel this is a private matter between the woman, her doctor and God.
Doesn't the father have something to say about this?
You assume that there aren't enough married couples who are willing to adopt. But that is not true. There is a long waiting list. Just because there are untraditional families out there, that does not mean those families are ideal or traditional families are outdated. Since there are plenty of married couples waiting to adopt children, why shouldn't we give children the best possible care?
The following hissed in response by: David M
The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 01/05/2009 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.
The above hissed in response by: David M at January 5, 2009 12:00 PM
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