Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Same-Sex Couples & Adoption News: 04/06/16

Adoption and same-sex parenting has been in the news recently.

First the good: Mississippi just became the last state to bar same-sex couples from adopting children:
Mississippi was the last state to have such a ban on the books after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision last year legalising same-sex marriage. In a 28-page ruling filed on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan issued a preliminary injunction against the ban, citing the Supreme Court's decision legalising same-sex marriage nationwide last summer...

The Supreme Court ruling "foreclosed litigation over laws interfering with the right to marry and rights and responsibilities intertwined with marriage," Jordan stated in his ruling. "It also seems highly unlikely that the same court that held a state cannot ban gay marriage because it would deny benefits — expressly including the right to adopt — would then conclude that married gay couples can be denied that very same benefit."

The court case stemmed from the complaint filed last year by four same-sex couples who were joined by the Campaign for Southern Equality and the Family Equality Council. According to the complaint, hundreds of families and thousands of children in Mississippi were disrespected and denied legitimate rights, benefits and duties that come with legal parentage.

Jordan ruled that denying same-sex couples the right to adopt violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Then the bad: Republican legislators in Arizona are fighting efforts to make same-sex adoption rights more equitable:
Democrats in the Arizona Legislature are renewing efforts to repeal a law requiring judges to give preferences to married heterosexual couples in adoptions.

But Republicans in the House and Senate are pushing back, refusing to allow amendments on bills that would remove the language.

Legislation introduced early this year in both the Senate and House revoking current law giving preferences to a husband and wife over others in adoptions never received hearings. But Democratic lawmakers aren't giving up.

In the Senate on Tuesday, Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, tried to add to the child safety bill an amendment removing the adoption language. But he was rebuffed. Farley said another Senate bill and two House bills have been held to avoid the same amendment... 

House Majority Leader Steve Yarbrough led the charge to stop Farley's amendment, saying it wasn't procedurally allowed. Senate President Andy Biggs also fought against the amendment. 

"The rule is the rule, game over," Yarbrough told The Associated Press. "Offer a germane amendment and we will have a delightful debate about the merit of the question of whether a child is better served being adopted by a man and a woman than by a single parent, a same sex-parent or people from Mars." 

"My personal opinion? I think that the meritorious, academic, quality peer-reviewed literature demonstrates most clearly that a child is better served if they are able to have a married man and woman as parents," Yarbrough said. "Now, does that mean there aren't a whole bunch of other people doing a great job? Doesn't mean that at all." 
Keep this in mind when people like Caitlyn Jenner claim that the GOP is supportive of LGBT rights.
Finally, the ugly: Nearly 2 Million Colombians have signed a petition to bar gays and lesbians from adopting:
In November 2015, within a week after the country's constitutional court decision to allow same-sex adoption, Senator Viviane Morales had rounded up 33 members of Congress for her campaign to overthrow that ruling.
The country's complex mechanisms for direct democratic action required her to gather 1.8 million signatures in four months. The "Sign for Mom and Dad" campaign, supported by both the Catholic and evangelical Protestant churches (Morales belongs to the latter), produced 2 million.

The campaign hammered at two points: adoption was an institution to protect children, not a right of parents; and the courts had usurped Congress's role by reinterpreting a clear declaration in the constitution that marriage was for men and women to allow same-sex couples to adopt. Prior to 2015 only the gay partners of biological parents could adopt.

In a formal statement the campaigners argued, "Since the Supreme Court has [gone] beyond its role of guarding the Constitution, it is essential to go to the primary constituent through a referendum, to express the importance of such a vital affair as the rights of boys, girls and adolescents to have a mother and father."

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