25 November 2008

Suck it, Anita Bryant.

For the second time this year, a Florida state judge has held the state's law that disables all homosexuals from adopting is unconstitutional.
In August, Monroe Circuit Judge David John Audlin Jr. called the ban the fruit of ''unveiled expressions of bigotry.''
''Disqualifying every gay Floridian from raising a family, enjoying grandchildren or carrying on the family name, based on nothing more than lawful sexual conduct, while assuring child abusers, terrorists, drug dealers, rapists and murderers at least individualized consideration, [is so] disproportionately severe'' as to offend both the Florida and U.S. Constitutions.
In the present case, Florida Assistant Attorney General Valerie J. Martin failed to persuade the court that the ban is justified on the testimony of Kansas State University Assistant Professor of Family Studies Walter R. Schumm* and retired University of South Carolina professor George A. Rekers.** Their case was that homosexuals are disproportionately more likely to suffer from mental illness or substance abuse than heterosexuals, making them less fit to parent.
The arguments are perhaps more stupid than you might imagine.
Professor Schumm testified that children raised by gay parents were more likely to be gay, which elevates their risk of suicide.
Teh ghey is contagious, but I'll be damned if I know why gay folks would be particularly depressed. Wait, what were we talking about again? Oh yes, gay people are undeserving of even basic rights like parenting.
Professor Rekers testified that living with gay parents can be stressful to children, because they may experience teasing and bullying from other children who don't approve of their parents' orientation.
So no family for you, kiddo, because some of your classmates might be bigoted jackasses like us.
Rekers also stated that children of gay parents are likely to suffer because gay people are more likely to have multiple failed relationships.
Not that being forbidden the support of a permanent bond like — oh I dunno... marriage — would play any part in that.
By deposition, Rekers testified, “I think that would be a very good social policy” to bar adoption to anyone who had more than 18 “sex partners” in a lifetime.
Points and laughs.
Rekers would also consider banning Native Americans from adopting because they have an elevated risk of mental illness and substance abuse. “They would tend to hang around each other, so the children would be around a lot of other Native Americans who are...doing the same sorts of things.”
Savage tribesmen heap big crazy for firewater!
I shiat you not. These were their arguments. In court. Seriously.
Reckers got pounded by the father's ACLU attorney for using “scholarship” from the hyperventilatingly anti-gay, ultra-evangelical Family Research Council. Awesome. What’s more, it apparently escaped the AAG that Florida law does not bar actual felons or known substance-abusers as a class unworthy of adoption. Nor did they burden themselves with the fact that straight folks are statistically more likely than gays to produce and fail the very children at issue here. However, using statistic to argue in favor of categorically denying straight people the ability to adopt is just as mind-numbingly, breathtakingly stupid as their argument.
Amazingly, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman put it more diplomatically than I did:
Based on the evidence presented from experts from all over this country and abroad, it is clear that sexual orientation is not a predictor of a person's ability to parent. Sexual orientation no more leads to psychiatric disorders, alcohol and substance abuse, relationship instability, a lower life expectancy or sexual disorders than race, gender, socioeconomic class or any other demographic characteristic....
...the challenged statute, in precluding otherwise qualified homosexuals from adopting available children, does not promote the interests of children and, in effect, causes harm to the children it is meant to protect.
Judge Lederman also observed that children in the state system have a fundamental right to be raised in a permanent adoptive home if they cannot be reunited with their biological parents, but children with gay foster parents may be deprived of that right under the current scheme.
There is no question the blanket exclusion of gay applicants defeats Florida's goal of providing [foster] children a permanent family through adoption.
Props to the ACLU, FTW. The outcome is that Florida’s justice system ensured two young brothers not only avoided a life of brutality, but get to stay with the only loving parents they’ve ever known.

Gay Adoption

At least for now.
The Florida Attorney General’s office has appealed Judge Lederman’s decision. The fundamental right to breed, held by a dazzling array of Florida's miscreants and degenerates, remains unaffected and unchallenged.
*In a 2003 scholarly article, Professor Schumm wrote "With respect to integration of faith and research, I have been trying to use statistics to highlight the truth of the Scripture.” ** In a 1982 book, Professor Rekers wrote, “To search for truth about homosexuality in psychology and psychiatry, while ignoring God, will result in futile and foolish speculations.” Reckers admitted under cross-examination that he taught and practiced psychology from a Christian perspective, and had written books condemning social science that doesn't recognize “the moral laws of God.” He also has a degree in theology.

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