Banning gay adoptions proves to be more difficult challenge

Posted on 23 Mar 2006 at 6:53pm
By Leslie Robinson – General Gayety

Proposed Ohio legislation banning adoptions in homes where any gay people reside would prevent Vice President Cheney from adopting

Following their successful attempts to ban gay marriage across the country, social conservatives are now trying to ban gays from adopting children.
In the case of both bans, it’s tiring for gay folks to be vilified for, of all things, wanting to give love. By this logic, Mother Teresa should’ve been strung up by her sandals.

At present, it appears barring gay adoption isn’t going as swimmingly as barring gay marriage, thank goodness. As this fight unfolds, and all manner of things are said about us, I’m pleased to note that gays and our allies have held onto something important: the ability to wrest giggles from a bad situation.

Let’s consider Ohio.

Ah, Ohio, where, in 2004, a particularly strident anti-gay marriage amendment helped George Bush capture the state, and thus the nation.

Ah, Ohio, where last month Representative Ron Hood introduced in the House a bill forbidding an adoptive or foster child from being placed with an LGBT person.

Also, no adoptive or foster child could be placed in a household where an LGBT person lives.

When it comes to bigotry, these Buckeyes are not namby-pamby.
Scott Greenwood of Cincinnati, an openly gay civil rights attorney, had a few words to say about this bill to Ohio’s Gay People’s Chronicle:

“Under this legislation, Dick Cheney and his wife would be prevented from adopting,” he said, referring to the Cheneys’ lesbian daughter. “Maybe that’s a good thing for other reasons, but not this reason.”

Scott, you accurate devil.

And if I may pick up the thread from here, Ohio, with its penchant for extreme legislation, might consider banning the vice president from hunting within its borders. That way there will be no birdshot or buckshot in Buckeyes.

This adoption bill is too much even for some Ohio Republicans. GOP House Speaker Jon Hustad, himself adopted as a child, is against it.

But let’s not underestimate the fear generated by spouting falsehoods. In backing his ban, Hood claimed, among other things, that kids raised by gay parents are at “increased risk” of physical and emotional problems.

Enter Senator Robert Hagan, who has proposed additional legislation. In an e-mail sent to fellow senators, the Democrat said he’s seeking co-sponsors to introduce a bill “that would ban households with one or more Republican voters from adopting children or acting as foster parents.”

He wrote, “Credible research exists that strongly suggests that adopted children raised in Republican households, though significantly wealthier than their Democrat-raised counterparts, are more at risk for developing emotional problems, social stigmas, inflated egos, an alarming lack of tolerance for others they deem different than themselves and an air of overconfidence to mask their insecurities.”

Hagan added, “I have spoken to many adopted children raised in Republican households who have admitted that “‘Well, it’s just plain boring most of the time.’”

He’s joking to make a point. Alas, Hood isn’t joking.
And while it’s tempting to dismiss Hood himself as a joke, we don’t dare. Not anymore.

Hustad responded to Hagan’s memo by noting that his adoptive parents were Democrats.

“I got to go to the secret meetings when I was growing up. That’s how I knew they were going to tax me and take away my Second Amendment rights. That’s why I became a Republican.”

The way I figure it, joshing between parties is good. At least it means they’re speaking.

Mainly, I’m pleased my side is mining humor from rough legislative circumstances. When things get particularly nasty, it helps to keep your wits about you.

Leslie Robinson’s columns are available online at www.GeneralGayety.com

E-mail LesRobinsn@aol.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, March 24, 2006.

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