Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Encouraging Adoption- But By Straights Only

One of the pillars of the whole anti-abortion movement has been to encourage the practice of adoption as an alternative. Dubiousness of that argument aside, it's becoming more and more clear that adoption is okay, but only by a certain group of people.

Steps to pass laws or secure November ballot initiatives are underway in at least 16 states, adoption, gay rights and conservative groups say. Some - such as Ohio, Georgia and Kentucky - approved constitutional amendments in 2004 banning gay marriage.

"Now that we've defined what marriage is, we need to take that further and say children deserve to be in that relationship," says Greg Quinlan of Ohio's Pro-Family Network, a conservative Christian group.


Election-year politics. Republicans battered by questions over ethics and Iraq "might well" use the adoption issue to deflect attention and draw out conservatives in close Senate and governor races in states such as Missouri and Ohio, says Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, University of Southern California political scientist.

The aim is to replicate 2004, says Julie Brueggemann of the gay rights group PROMO: Personal Rights of Missourians. She says marriage initiatives mobilized conservative voters in 2004 and helped President Bush win in closely contested states such as Ohio. Republicans "see this as a get-out-the-vote tactic."

Republican pollster Whit Ayres is skeptical. Adoption, he says, "doesn't have the emotional power of the gay marriage issue because there is no such thing as the phrase 'the sanctity of adoption.' "

Beating up on gays for political advantage continues, and it's very sad. It's hard to reconcile any notion of a real culture of life when you're busy continuously enshrining discrimination into your state constitutions. Can adoption really do what a lot of right wingers hope it can if you continually work to weed out the people who can adopt? Shouldn't family values be about encouraging the strength and growth of families instead of legally excluding certain kinds of them? I'm sure such questions are the farthest thing from the minds of the brimstone-spewers pushing these initiatives.