Wrong Instrument to Regulate Morality

On Tuesday of this week, USA Today carried a feature story on efforts to ban gay adoption in 16 states. The campaign to prevent gays from adopting children represents the latest front in the culture wars and it is occurring in states where one might expect, Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, but also in states that you might not first think as sites for such efforts, including Oregon and Vermont. But the one thing all these states have in common, along with the states that passed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage is that the mechanism they have chosen, a constitutional amendment, is far and away the worst tool imaginable to regulate morality.

Constitutions provide the structure of government. They describe the relationship between the various branches of government and the interrelationship between the government and the people who chose that government. Constitutions are a poor choice for enforcing a view of morality, particularly since that morality may change over time. A Constitution is, by its very structure, hard to change and imbuing it with a certain moral character, whatever that character may be, forces a current view of morality upon successive societies. But the regulation of morality rarely lasts in a society founded on the concepts of individual liberty.

In looking for proof, one need look no further than the 18th Amendment. The 18th Amendment created Prohibition, an era with we has a nation succumbed to a desire to regulate individual morality through the use of a Constitutional club. The final result, just less than 15 years later, we repealed Prohibition from the Constitution. Social engineering has no place in a document designed to describe how our government works.

The latest step to enforce morality comes on the heels of successful attempts in 2004 to ban gay marriage through constitutional amendments defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman. Now, a group of people engage in a moral crusade to prevent homosexuals from raising children, even raising children no one wants. Drunk from their successes social conservatives, not content just to define what makes a marriage, now what to say what makes a good parent.

The drive to ban gay adoption screams with hypocrisy. From the USA Today story, "Now that we’ve defined what marriage is, we need to take that further and say children deserve to in that relationship,” says Greg Quinlan of Ohio’s Pro-Family Network, a conservative Christian Group.” The problem with this concept of defining marriage and defining what is a good home for children is that it ignores the reality of America today and the potential reality of American tomorrow.

First, let us acknowledge the mere fact of having a heterosexual marriage no more guarantees good parenting skills than it does good cooking skills. But the real problem with constitutional amendments banning gay marriage or gay adoption or any such moral relativism is that the subject matter is outside the scope of a Constitution. Moral absolutes cannot be contained in a document detailing a government. The composition of government is a reflection of the people at that time, but the structure of government changes slowly if at all. Binding future generations to a moral absolute from today burdens their effort to describe for themselves what is right and proper in their world or gives the monumental task of undoing our mistakes.

Admittedly, all laws are a moral decision at the core. But using constitutional amendment to enforce a moral viewpoint is a bad path to follow and one doomed to failure. A constitution is a compact between the governed and the government they choose. It is not a document that defines relationships between people. People, and their attitudes, come and go, the governmental entity persists and changes slowly. We should not be burdening the compact between the government and our grandchildren with our silly notions of morality. Our grandkids will think we were uncool enough without having to dictate such matters to them.

Posted by Matt Johnston at February 24, 2006 11:28 AM
Comments
Comment #129160

Help me out here Matt, If they just pass laws preventing gay adoption or marriage without amending the constitution then dont those laws become unconstitutional?

Are you suggesting the Republican party turn its back on the voting block whose swung the balance of power in their favor? It’s not likely to happen.

Posted by: Schwamp at February 24, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #129162

Bravo, Matt Johnson.
Excellent article, very well said.
I have never understood why anyone would wish to outlaw loving relationships between people — whether between partners who are committed to each other, or those who truly want to provide stability, love and care to a child.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 24, 2006 12:31 PM
Comment #129168

Schwamp,

There are a lot of Republicans like me who feel that bowing to the Christian Right is going to force the GOP into a situation like the Democrats, too beholden to the extremes of the party.

but never the less, as a society founded on the fundamental principles of freedom and liberty, why do we as a society persist in foisting our views of morality upon each other. If the Christian Right complains that liberal Hollywood is foisting its views of right and wrong on America, why then is it so much better for Republicans to do the same? The argument seems to be blatant hypocritical to me.

Posted by: Matt Johnston at February 24, 2006 12:50 PM
Comment #129169

Law should be applied equally to all sorts of people. We should seek for children stable and loving relationships. I don’t think sexual preference should figure in.

Such things are none of the state’s business. The state should not even be able to ask questions about race, religion, nationality or sexual preference on application for anything.

Posted by: Jack at February 24, 2006 12:52 PM
Comment #129171

Yes, let’s ban gay marriage, gay adoption, and abortion so there’s lots of unwanted babies with nobody to adopt them.

How about this instead: let’s encourage gays to settle down into marriages, make divorce more difficult, encourage married couples to provide good homes to unwanted children, and stop the murder of innocent babies.

Posted by: LeBain at February 24, 2006 12:58 PM
Comment #129173

Awesome article Matt. Bravissimo. This touches on one of the many reasons I left the republican party, they seem intent on legislating morality. And while I’m a weekly church going christian I don’t believe that it is government’s job to deal out morality.

However, like the first poster I too am confused with your jib. If they passed a law against gay marriage and adoption, it’d be considered unconstitutional. So what exactly are you advocating here? This whole anti gay-rights movement is very near and dear to the right’s heart. So what’s to be done?

Posted by: chantico at February 24, 2006 1:04 PM
Comment #129175

Law should be applied equally to all sorts of people. We should seek for children stable and loving relationships. I don’t think sexual preference should figure in.

Such things are none of the state’s business. The state should not even be able to ask questions about race, religion, nationality or sexual preference on application for anything.

Posted by: Jack at February 24, 2006 1:09 PM
Comment #129176

Law should be applied equally to all sorts of people. We should seek for children stable and loving relationships. I don’t think sexual preference should figure in.

Such things are none of the state’s business. The state should not even be able to ask questions about race, religion, nationality or sexual preference on application for anything.

Posted by: Jack at February 24, 2006 1:12 PM
Comment #129178

Sorry about the multiple post. My machine. Please feel free to delete the extras.

Posted by: Jack at February 24, 2006 1:24 PM
Comment #129187

Matt, while garnering sympathy via the issue of gay adoption, is coulding the larger issue. Schwamp’s response brings the issue to light. Let’s forget the issue of gay rights and address the greater issue of how does a society choose and enforce its values.

Many practices and moral values that have been deemed accepted for over two hundred years are under attack. Unable to bring about change legislatively, those desiring change have turned to judges who are stricking down those practices and values on the basis of constitutional law. Therefore, the only recourse appears to to be constitutional ammendments. Let’s begin to talk about possible ways though which we can handle these.

Matt’s reply to Schwamp implies that not imposing a value on society is a neutral sum game. It is not. Just as an implemented value affects the world of those who do not share that value, the non-implimentation of that value affects the world of those who believe in the value. Those who believe abortion should be legal claim that those who do not believe so are not forced to have abortions, therefore it does not affect them. However, the anti-abortionist is then forced to live in a society that in their eyes sanctions murder for convenience. The anit-abortionists young teenage daughter is able to have an abortion without the parents knowledge.

One may claim that in a free society, the government is there to protect the minority from the majority. But there is no way to do this completely and have a viable society. There are some values that must be present in a viable society; for example prohibition agaisnt murder and stealing. In fact, there is no way to perfectly protect the minority from the majority with issues that do not affect the viableness of society.

Some people may believe that war is immoral, yet if the majority elects a government running on a platform of going to war against another nation, the minority is forced into it.

Some people may believe that confiscatory taxation for the purpose of redistribution of wealth is immoral. However, if a government is elected that passes such laws, the minority is not protected.

This is the real problem. Matt may believe, rightly or wrongly, that constitutional ammendments are not the way to address this. However, he offers no solutions.

I am not certain there are perfect solutions. Thoughts?

Posted by: Lawrence Wakefield at February 24, 2006 2:17 PM
Comment #129193

Lawrence, you make good points, but I think you conflate two types of issues. There are those, such as murder and stealing, which are nearly universally acknowledged to be wrong. There are others, such as abortion or the rights of homosexuals that are thought to be wrong by a majority, but are far from universally beleived to be wrong. More importantly with the later sort of moral issue, opinions are drastically changing on these issues. 20 years ago, the number of people who believed in homosexual marriage was much smaller than today. These issues should not be enshrined in the bedrock of a government until opinion is at least steady and hopefully nearly universal.

Posted by: Erika at February 24, 2006 2:30 PM
Comment #129197

Murder and Stealing are crimes, not because everyone agrees they are bad, but because it effects other people negatively. So enforcing not stealing and not murdering isn’t so much a morality issue as crime and punishment issue. The government exists to protect its citizens and try to enforce justice. Not to enforce morality, otherwise we’d have laws stating that store must be closed on Sundays and such. My whole point of it is, that even if there was a consensus it’s not the government’s job to legislate morality.

War is, at times, a necessary evil to protect citizens, taxes are too, ergo the government legislates against people’s morals because it must do so. Homosexuality isn’t a necessary evil, nor is important to government. The solution is simply to let it lie.

Posted by: chantico at February 24, 2006 2:54 PM
Comment #129210

Posted by: Schwamp:
“If they just pass laws preventing gay adoption or marriage without amending the constitution then don’t those laws become unconstitutional?”
Most likely. Although gays aren’t a “suspect class” for constitutional purposes, the Supreme Court has held that discrimination against unpopular minorities is not a “legitimate government purpose” and have struck down laws outlawing gay “whatever” where the court has decided that the legitimate government purpose is absent. While preventing “moral decay” may be a legitimate purpose to some, one doesn’t get there without some religious conviction—a practical basis (crime prevention, economic strength, public health) is lacking.

Posted by: Lawrence Wakefield:” Unable to bring about change legislatively, those desiring change have turned to judges who are striking down those practices and values on the basis of constitutional law. Judges follow the law; if they don’t, the decision is overturned on appeal. However, factual findings differ, and only when “no reasonable person” can agree with the findings of the judge does the decision get overturned there.

Posted by: Lawrence Wakefield: Therefore, the only recourse appears to be constitutional amendments.” A bit of a problem here—state constitutions are subjugated to the national constitution; if the state constitution is found to violate the U.S. Constitution, the provision is unconstitutional.
Posted by: Lawrence Wakefield: “Those who believe abortion should be legal claim that those who do not believe so are not forced to have abortions, therefore it does not affect them. However, the anti-abortionist is then forced to live in a society that in their eyes sanctions murder for convenience.”
These two issues are not connected. One involves the involuntary termination of a life vs. personal autonomy, the other concerns the freedom of association and personal choice. I won’t even address the abortion issue. As for gay adoption, in order to make a LEGAL argument, someone is going to have to make a case that SOMEONE is harmed other than a disapproving onlooker. Either society in general, the parents (probably not an issue here) or the child needs to be specifically harmed. As homosexuality is no longer considered a mental defect, and the general notion that homosexuals are depraved and cannot be trusted with children, that’s going to be a long row to hoe.
As for the larger issue, what is the problem to be solved? Children without parents? I say that this is a much more distressing issue than gay adoption. Unparented children are more likely to burden society than two income earners living in sin.
And for an even larger issue: How does a society promote freedom of religion (including freedom from any particular practice of religion) when the different religions and philosophical beliefs conflict? Christians may have enough political clout to have their views carry the day now, but what happens in a few years when they don’t? The government set out in our constitution, at least as I understand it, protects minorities when their interests conflict with the majority’s—so long as the minority’s interests do not obstruct a legitimate government purpose.

Societially speaking, homosexuality is beneficial. Homosexuals pay more taxes and receive fewer government services. Here, they want to raise OTHER PEOPLE’S CHILDREN. Religious conservatives seem to be forgetting the central question: “What legitimate government purpose is served by denying them the right to adopt?” Try to answer the question with out invoking GOD.

Posted by: Rich at February 24, 2006 3:46 PM
Comment #129213

Matt: You are about the 18th amendment, it was a sad and bloody interlude in our history. But, although we did eventually repeal the amendment, we did not dismantle the huge bureaucracy that was created to enforce it. We “the government” just changed the target of that bureaucracy.
We as a society cannot create mandates against what we percieve as bad behavior and expect those behaviors to disappear. Execuating murderers does not prevent murder from occuring.

Posted by: jlw at February 24, 2006 3:58 PM
Comment #129214

This is a great debate going on. Everyone is actually debating instead of slandering one another.

I agree that the government has absolutely NO business legeslating morality. Morality comes from individuals, faith, parents, etc.

Posted by: Tom L at February 24, 2006 4:00 PM
Comment #129220

Laws—federal or local that deal with our rights and liberties are passed and in place to make sure that what I do does not negatively affect others rights and liberties.I may not agree with gay adoption, as I disagree with gay marriage,I dont think Icould prove it turns out bad any more than I could prove traditional marriages and adoptions all turn out good.

my opinion is it’s not good for the kids, but thats just my opinion and my values.

freedom means everyone has a right to thier own opinion and live their life as they wish as long as it doesnt negatively affect others right to do the same

Posted by: charlie w at February 24, 2006 4:09 PM
Comment #129221

Lawrence, and all:

I think Gay rights needs to be totally out of the equation. This isn’t about adults it’s about children.

If you put the lense of “What is best for kids” this problem takes on a totally different appearance.

1. Kids need both male and female postive role models.

2. Best, (speaking idealistically) is a mother and father in a traditional marriage.

3. Unfortunately there are not enough traditional families who are willing to adopt children. (Especially special needs or older kids).

4. I have never seen any data that suggests that an adult’s sexual orientation either helps or hurts children. (Maybe there is some, but I have never seen any).

5. I have seen data than hetrosexual men are the largest abusers of children, especially sexually.

My own suggestion is we form laws that place the children’s needs first. (I believe this is what is generally done).

This would involve trying to place children with traditional couples as much as possible. After a reasonable effort is made, move on to other loving family situations. I would be hard pressed to force a child to stay in a foster parent situation without a permanent solution, when gay families are standing there willing and wanting to adopt these children.

This will frustrate some in the gay community. The measure of character of a parent is voluntarily DENYING personal rights in favor of what is best children.

I believe research is behind me 100% that says that children need positive relationships with both genders. I am gratiful singles and gay couples are there to love these kids when that isn’t possible.

I would oppose any legislation that would ban gays from adoption. Sexual orietation appears to be irrelavant in predicting the quality of a parent.


Fire away!!

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 24, 2006 4:09 PM
Comment #129223
1. Kids need both male and female postive role models.

Need? Are you sure about that? One could definitely argue that it is preferential for children to have both a male and a female parent, but I don’t think there’s anything that says that children need both. Particularly since many successful adults didn’t have both. (note: I’m not saying that everyone that grew up with only one parent is functional, but then again neither is everyone that came from a traditional nuclear family).

What exactly do you mean by need?

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 24, 2006 4:28 PM
Comment #129224
1. Kids need both male and female postive role models.

Could you cite a particular study? I seem to vaguely remember criticisms of these sorts of studies pointing out that they assume that women and men will posess certain characteristics without backing that up and that the real conclusion what should draw from these studies is that children need different types of role models and that these roles cannot all be fufilled by one person.

Posted by: Erika at February 24, 2006 4:38 PM
Comment #129225

With the passage of an anti-abortion bill in South Dakota;

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1575986/posts

“The South Dakota House overwhelmingly passed a bill Thursday that would ban nearly all abortions in the state, ushering the issue to the Senate.

Supporters are pushing the measure as a means of drawing the attention of the U.S. Supreme Court, hoping to set up a legal challenge that ultimately will result in reversal of the high court’s 1973 decision legalizing abortion.”

There is evidence that while the abortion rate has gone down, the adoption rate hasn’t kept pace.
As a result there are even more children that may drop through the cracks and into the foster care system.
No, it is not ethical to legislate morality.
It also seems that it is impossible to legislate stupidity as well.

Posted by: Rocky at February 24, 2006 4:40 PM
Comment #129227

Lawnboy

What exactly do you mean by need?

Children can overcome many needs not being met. Families do a wonderful job of compensating. I would never diminish the heros that raise children alone, or through difficulty.

It is very best for children to have loving parents of both genders. This is how they learn to relate to future spouses, inlaws, bosses of different genders in their future. It’s importance cannot nor should be diminished.

Children are very blessed to have single adults or gay couples that love them enough to adopt them, when this isn’t posible. It’s all about improving children’s lives. We don’t live in an ideal world.

Craig


Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 24, 2006 4:44 PM
Comment #129241

Personally, I think the right all to often forgets that the Religious right, however crucial to their coalition of interests they are, are only a minority of the population. That minority should not get the idea that it is entitled to dictate things to the rest of us without our agreement, or else it might find itself the target of a serious backlash, and the progress they’ve made in normalizing their points of view rolled back.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 24, 2006 5:34 PM
Comment #129255

excellent debate, excellent points.

i tend to agree with craig; nevertheless, i think this is one of the many issues that should be left to the states to decide, as i have no recollection of any mention of gay adoption or gay marriage (or for that matter, any marriage at all) in the US Constitution, and i’d like to keep it that way.

Posted by: diogenes at February 24, 2006 6:47 PM
Comment #129263

Stephen and diogenes:

I agree with your posts. My response to them would be to resist to the end political postering as in left verses right etc.

I think we should work very hard on what is best for children, and not what is best for adults.

1.Children need a stable loving environment.

2. There are thousands of children across America without permanent homes for adoption.

3. For the sake of all compassion for these children, lets find safe loving permanent homes for these kids and put politics aside.

Neither the religious right, nor the gay community, nor ANY OTHER ADULT GROUPING has the right to place their needs or rights first ahead of these children. Here where we fight and want to kill each other sometimes, this is one debate where we must put our politics behind. Any person of noble character, regardless of political persuasion or sexual orientation or whatever, that is willing to take one of these kids and raise them has my admiration and support.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 24, 2006 7:19 PM
Comment #129264

diogenes,

I think that this document is just as important.

http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/D/1776-1800/independence/doitj.htm#par2

“We hold these truths to be selfevident, that all men are created equal and independent; that from that equal creation they derive in rights inherent and inalienables, among which are the preservation of life, and liberty and the pursuit of happiness;”

Now, if this was just about the children, there would be no issue here.

Posted by: Rocky at February 24, 2006 7:22 PM
Comment #129266

Just to put a finer point on this.

I have read the Constitution, and the Declaration, and the Federalist Papers.

No where, in any of those texts, does the phrase, “except if you’re gay” appear.

Posted by: Rocky at February 24, 2006 7:27 PM
Comment #129270

rocky,

there’s really no sense in arguing about this, still, the declaration is not the constitution, and even if it carried the same weight, the quote you have provided does not apply. i think this a bit inane - to argue when we seem to largely agree on this issue. yet if we must, then i am obliged to point out to you that neither marriage nor adoption is a right - certainly not inherent and inalienable. they are privileges.

you may hold that the pursuit of happiness necessitates that anyone who wishes should be allowed to adopt or marry - but simply because we are entitled to pursue happiness, it does not then follow that we must achieve it…

regardless, it appears that the only way in which we differ on this matter is in implementation… i think that the states should be permitted to make this decision for themselves; i presume that you would prefer to have a constitutional amendment upholding it as a right? if so, i would refer you to Matt’s adept (original) post.

rather than pursue this argument, might i suggest that we focus the debate on those who think that the constitution should be amended to prohibit gay adoption/marriage outright? your call.

Posted by: diogenes at February 24, 2006 7:51 PM
Comment #129285

diogenes,

I am not for a Constitutional ammendment for anything.
The quote was more for the “All men are created equal” part.
I am however against ANY type of discrimination, be it Federal or State that would make these tax paying folks second class citizens. For that is what these states are trying to do.

I hope that helps you out.

Posted by: Rocky at February 24, 2006 9:15 PM
Comment #129286

diogenes,

“you may hold that the pursuit of happiness necessitates that anyone who wishes should be allowed to adopt or marry - but simply because we are entitled to pursue happiness, it does not then follow that we must achieve it…”

Just one more thing.

It does, however imply that we must be allowed to pursue it, and whether we achive it or not (that would be a personal thing), that right should be absolute.

Posted by: Rocky at February 24, 2006 9:19 PM
Comment #129288

Craig:
“Kids need both male and female postive role models.”

I agree. And usually they get them, whether their parents are a man and a woman, two men, or two women, who are committed partners and good parents.
For years my husband has been a Big Brother (Big Brothers and Sisters of America — a great organization) to a boy (he’s practically all grown up now) who has two Moms and an older sister (both of the children are the biological offspring of one of the women). These smart, kind and wise women realized that it might be a good idea for their son to have a strong male role model in his life and contacted the organization to make sure that he would, because their male family members lived too far away to spend enough time with him.

Good parents whether straight or gay will always find a way to make sure their children get what they truly need - emotionally, spiritually, and materially.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 24, 2006 9:37 PM
Comment #129290

Diogenes:
The point that you make regarding not seeing anything about protection of gays in the constitution may be there by default. The constitution specifically says that any rights not held by the government(s) are to be retained by the individuals. The absence of any reference to sexual preference would therefore mean that it has no place in the decision. That would imply that gays have a constitutional right to marry, or adopt.
State constitutional amendments prohibiting these rights of gays would, therefore, not be in compliance with the US constitution, and would then logically be struck down.
If you look at the 10th Amendment, it says that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” is quite unclear. If state marriage laws do not infringe upon the rights of the people which are retained by default, then they would be constitutional.
The question in my mind is if a state ban on gay marriage fits that description.

For the others who have mentioned morality; I’m with you. I agree that the constitution is not intended, nor should it be, to legislate or mandate morality. The question of other crimes fits more under the category of infringements on others’ rights to life and property; not morality.

Posted by: Cole at February 24, 2006 9:47 PM
Comment #129292

It just occurred to me that the 19th amendment says, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
I realize that this was passed with the intent of being for women’s rights. But it does not say that. It says “on account of sex”. Broadly, that could be construed also to mean sexual orientation. Couldn’t it? If they meant gender, don’t you think they would have used that word? It was ratified in 1920, and the word was in our common vocabulary. Gender is certainly a more specific word than sex.

Just spitballing, here.

Posted by: Cole at February 24, 2006 9:55 PM
Comment #129293

rocky,

“All men are created equal”
- so if they wish to reproduce, they may do so.

again, adoption is not a right, nor is marriage.

“I am however against ANY type of discrimination, be it Federal or State that would make these tax paying folks second class citizens. For that is what these states are trying to do.”

i understand your point of view, i simply don’t share it. i, too, am against discrimination. there are lines to be drawn past which the states must not traverse, as outlined in the constitution or as otherwise mandated by acts of congress (but to a far lesser extent). the nature of marriage is such, however, that the constitution precludes the government from regulating it (as it is a religious matter).

now, if it’s the tax breaks that concern you, why is it that single men and women don’t meet your criteria for discrimination?… they receive no tax breaks. are they less deserving simply because they have had less luck finding a mate?

thus, i would counter your claim of discrimination with this rejoinder - that *no one* deserves tax breaks for living in union with another individual, or contrarily, that *everyone* should receive similar tax breaks.


“It does, however imply that we must be allowed to pursue it, and whether we achive it or not (that would be a personal thing), that right should be absolute.”

a gay man may pursue marriage or adoption in any state - in some it is not legal, so he fails - at least that would be the literal interpretation. the implication of this phrase must be applied more generally, however, as “the pursuit of happiness” … pursuant to the law.

in any case, since these are *privileges* and not *rights*, this is not a constitutional issue, and should be relegated to the states.

anything else?

Posted by: diogenes at February 24, 2006 9:56 PM
Comment #129297

“this phrase must be applied more generally, however, as “the pursuit of happiness” … pursuant to the law.”

er.. more specifically.

incidentally, it is harder for single individuals to adopt as well, so this analogy applies to both marriage and adoption.

Posted by: diogenes at February 24, 2006 10:07 PM
Comment #129298

Diogenes:

Actually, the supreme court has stated that marriage is a right.

The freedom to marry, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, “has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”

Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival. Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942). See also Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190 (1888).

Posted by: Cole at February 24, 2006 10:09 PM
Comment #129299

diogenes,

“now, if it’s the tax breaks that concern you, why is it that single men and women don’t meet your criteria for discrimination?… they receive no tax breaks. are they less deserving simply because they have had less luck finding a mate?”

I have used that term only as a decription to show that the only difference between “them or us” is sex.
Any problem with that fact is yours.
I refuse to argue. I will not take your bait.
Go fish somewhere else.

Posted by: Rocky at February 24, 2006 10:14 PM
Comment #129301
1. Kids need both male and female postive role models.

Craig,

Correct, kids do need positive role models, but kids don’t live in a vacuum. They interact with people outside the home, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, friends of the parents, etc. If you are implying that kids need a male and female role model in the home, then I disagree. It is society that needs kids to have such arrangements, not children. What’s next? Outlawing single parents from raising children?

When the whole same-sex marriage debate got hot, I said that it was the beginning of a slippery slope. Not that same-sex marriage would lead to other types of marriage, but that it would start with gay marriage, now it is gay adoption, what’s next? My best friend is lesbian. She recently got married in Toronto and was implanted with three fertilized eggs. Two of the three made it, and she is now pregnant with twins. They went this route, instead of adoption, because of exactly what is happening now. But if we are going to say that children cannot be adopted by gays and lesbians for absolutely no good reason, then what is to stop us from sliding down the slope even further and try to take away biological children of gay and lesbian partners?

The other interesting thing they did for legal reasons in case adoption would be banned for same sex couples is that the eggs that were inseminated were taken from my friend’s wife, fertilized then implanted in my friend. That way it makes it difficult to legally say that either parent does not have rights over the child, since one donated the eggs and the other carried the child.

It is ashamed that Americans must go through all these hoops to get around bigoted laws. Live and let live.

From the American Psychological Association:

Can Lesbians, Gay Men, and Bisexuals Be Good Parents?

Yes. Studies comparing groups of children raised by homosexual and by heterosexual parents find no developmental differences between the two groups of children in four critical areas: their intelligence, psychological adjustment, social adjustment, and popularity with friends. It is also important to realize that a parent’s sexual orientation does not dictate his or her children’s.

Another myth about homosexuality is the mistaken belief that gay men have more of a tendency than heterosexual men to sexually molest children. There is no evidence to suggest that homosexuals are more likely than heterosexuals to molest children.


Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 24, 2006 10:20 PM
Comment #129306

diogenes:
“the nature of marriage is such, however, that the constitution precludes the government from regulating it (as it is a religious matter).”

Marriage isn’t necessarily a religious matter, haven’t you ever heard of a civil ceremony? No members of the clergy are involved in performing those marriages at all.
When viewed by the state, marriage is a legal contract, nothing more or less. And it is regulated in the way that before it will be recognized as legal, the couple must file for a license before the ceremony. If that documentation is never filed, the state won’t consider it a valid marriage.
That is exactly why if we believe in the concept that all men (and women) are created equal in the eyes of our laws, gay couples should be allowed to marry.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 24, 2006 10:39 PM
Comment #129312

All law is enacted on the basis of morality. Man is basically an evil being thus we need laws to keep man in check. See how simple that is!

God created a man and a woman. Part of their responsibility was to procreate and enlarge the population of the earth. Two men or two women living under the same roof as parents is not a very desireable circumstance. Children are much happier and productive when there is a father and a mother living under the same roof.

BTW, I have two boys that are half brothers and are adopted by my wife and I. I have studied much about children, adoption, needs, and the whole gamut. I can speak with some authority on the subject even though I am not an expert.

If you are talking about equality, then where does the rapist and pedophile fit in? Who draws the line for equality? Is there a need for equality?

Posted by: tomh at February 24, 2006 10:49 PM
Comment #129319

tomh,

“If you are talking about equality, then where does the rapist and pedophile fit in? Who draws the line for equality? Is there a need for equality?”

The greatest number of both are heterosexuals.

Those that you speak of are criminals and have no place in the conversation.
You might as well bring up that strawman about polygamy and bestiality, and that would be just as ridiculous.

Posted by: Rocky at February 24, 2006 11:01 PM
Comment #129320

Diogenes:

From Loving v Virginia, pertaining to mixed race marriages rather than same gender marriages but still very relevant in this discussion especially as many of the same specious arguments (including appeals to religion and claims that it would be disadvantageous to the children) were made by the state of Virginia in that case as are currently made against gay marriage and adoption:

Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.
Posted by: Jarandhel at February 24, 2006 11:07 PM
Comment #129336

rocky

i began this argument reluctantly, and was certainly not, as you tactlessly put it, ‘fishing’. it is amazing that you could be so offensive to someone who (generally) agrees with your opinion.

you have no wish to pursue this discussion, you must have run out of porous arguments - i suggest you talk to cole, he has something worth saying on the matter.

now then,

cole;

very nice point; it would appear that the supreme court has ruled that marriage is a right. however,

“Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival.”

perhaps only insofar as it is fundamental to our very existence and survival; it might easily be argued that homosexual marriage is not. also,

“To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes…The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.”

this ruling is clearly applicable to issues of race, not homosexuality.

it might also be noted that this was a case dealing with two individuals found guilty under virginia’s antimiscegenation statutes, and thereby sentenced to prison. i do not know of any recent criminal conviction for homosexual activity - the states merely refuse to recognize such marriages, and there are no convictions to reverse. …these arguments in evidence, i don’t think that this case must invariably be considered precedent.

thus, this issue would likely necessitate another supreme court ruling - is that what we want? and what happens when a psychotic president takes office and appoints new justices who overturn the previous ruling instead?… but that could never happen… right?

adrienne,

we weren’t discussing civil unions, we were discussing marriage. this is a multifaceted argument. please refer to my previous posts for my view on this subject because,

“That is exactly why if we believe in the concept that all men (and women) are created equal in the eyes of our laws, gay couples should be allowed to marry.”

…i’m not disagreeing.

Posted by: diogenes at February 24, 2006 11:48 PM
Comment #129341
we weren’t discussing civil unions, we were discussing marriage.

diogenes,

A marriage under the law is just a civil union. A legal contract. Marriages in the eyes of God do not require a written contract or the approval of the state. Two people can make an arrangement with God and it is a marriage in his eyes, the state has no say. Maybe the answer is that the state does not recognize any marriages, only civil unions. The church could recognize marriages. That way religion stays out of the state and the state stays out of the church and everyone is treated equally under the law.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 25, 2006 12:04 AM
Comment #129343

Diogenes:

You are correct that the wording was contained in a decision pertaining to racial discrimination, viz a vi marriage. However, the statement that marriage is a right was an independent statement. It was then applied to the case in question.
My (insignificant) opinion is that it can be, by extension, applied to homosexual citizens, since they are not specifically excluded anywhere in the constitution. No where in the constitution does it define marriage as being between people of the same gender.
In fact, this lack of definition is what the current republicans are trying to take care of with the marriage amendment that is being tossed around. So I’m not the only one who sees this fact as the lynch pin of the argument. Without this definition, it is clear to a vast number of constitutional scholars that homosexual couples cannot be excluded.
My conclusion in all of this is that, if tested in the U.S. supreme court, homosexuals will not be excluded from marrying, and states will be precluded from denying them that “right”.

Posted by: Cole at February 25, 2006 12:07 AM
Comment #129345

Jay Jay:

Your comment:

But if we are going to say that children cannot be adopted by gays and lesbians for absolutely no good reason, then what is to stop us from sliding down the slope even further and try to take away biological children of gay and lesbian partners?


My earlier comment:

I would oppose any legislation that would ban gays from adoption. Sexual orietation appears to be irrelavant in predicting the quality of a parent.

Sadly, we live in a world with a surplus of children needing to be adopted. Especially older children.

All I am saying is to reverse the viewpoint. We look at things from the perspective of adults. “Should Gay couples be allowed to adopt children”. I think that is totally wrong.

I think we need to reverse course 180 degrees. “What is best for children”. It is certainly not best for children to be raised in foster homes passed from family to family. Chidren need permanency.

I have never seen any research that showed sexual orientation was any benefit whatsoever in determining the quality of parents. Each child needs to be looked at uniquely.

If we go through the “adults rights” prism, then we will end up with some sort of weird quota system. Each child’s history is unique. They deserve to be looked at by (admitedly imperfect people) deciding unequally what is best in their judgment for each child.

I think these decisions should be research based, (with a heart) and not politically based.

Another for instance. I would argue that it is better for children to be raised (All else being equal) within the same race. It provides one less reason for the adopted child to feel different from the other child. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the number of children of different races perfectly matched up with the wants and needs of adoptive parents? I think a reasonable effort should be made to keep children within their race. But mercy, there are some wonderful multiracial families out there, some with children that look like a “rainbow coalition” convention. God bless them!! Look at all of the children from china for instance!

There is very little difference between you and I. What I would ask of you, is to move a little away from the gay issue, and instead embrace a bit further the child’s vantage point.

Sadly on a world wide scale we have a surplus of children. We don’t have time for politics. We just need to find homes for all of these kids.

I have a question for the people proposing this bill. How many of these thousands of children are they willing to adopt? let them try to take care of these chlldern. They will be swamped under with the tremendous needs of these kids, and will accept help from all quarters of people with integrity.

(On a personal note, we adopted our daughter when she was eight. She is now a senior in high school. She is a pain in the rear, just like daughters are suppose to be!!!) We fight, scrap, argue, cry, worry, laugh. We are a family. There was not a long line of others wanting to adopt an eight year old. (she doesn’t know that).

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 25, 2006 12:17 AM
Comment #129348

Tomh:

If you are talking about equality, then where does the rapist and pedophile fit in?

the subject of rape and pedophilia is an important subject in adoption. Fortunately to our current debate, there is not evidence I am aware of that gays are either more, or less inclined to commit these offenses.

However something that all of us had better agree upon, is that there is no place in adoption for rapists or pediphials. Chilren need to be protected.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 25, 2006 12:25 AM
Comment #129356
In fact, this lack of definition is what the current republicans are trying to take care of with the marriage amendment that is being tossed around.

People who are pushing for a marriage amendment really need to think about the consequences. Many SCOTUS decisions have been made based on the very fact that the Constitution does not make mention of marriage. There was a law many years ago that forbid married couples from purchasing birth control. That law was struck down because the government had no authority to regulate marriage. Putting a marriage amendment in the federal constitution means that you are handing the regulation of all marriages over to the federal government.

(On a personal note, we adopted our daughter when she was eight. She is now a senior in high school. She is a pain in the rear, just like daughters are suppose to be!!!) We fight, scrap, argue, cry, worry, laugh. We are a family. There was not a long line of others wanting to adopt an eight year old. (she doesn’t know that).

Craig,

That sounds wonderful, so why would anyone want to deny that to a child just because of someone’s sexual orientation? I would disagree with your assessment of interracial adoption though. All of these problems you describe are societal. If we were all always thinking about the best interest of the child then it wouldn’t matter what color or whether someone is gay or not. Kids don’t care, unless they are taught to care. What would matter is if they can provide a loving and nurturing environment. That is all that matters. Not who the parent is, but what kind of parent they are.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 25, 2006 12:34 AM
Comment #129364

As far as the homosexuals/lesbians being parents, there is not a track record of longevity in a committment for anybody to say it would be a nourtering environment. It bad enough when non-homosexuals/lesbians track record is going in the toilet. It always has been that the proper relationship for parents/children that a male and female be the parents. Anything else is off the charts.

Posted by: tomh at February 25, 2006 12:48 AM
Comment #129378

diogenes,

“i began this argument reluctantly, and was certainly not, as you tactlessly put it, ‘fishing’. it is amazing that you could be so offensive to someone who (generally) agrees with your opinion.

you have no wish to pursue this discussion, you must have run out of porous arguments - i suggest you talk to cole, he has something worth saying on the matter.”

What is truely amazing is that you would be so thin skined as to be offened so easily.

You asked questions that don’t need to answered and tempted me to argue, I will not.

This is a place for discussion not arguement. I have, in the past sullied this place with ill-concieved arguements with people that I don’t need to name. No more.

If you don’t come here to discuss these topics with folks that are entitled to their opinion in a civil tone then why bother?

You said that we were in agreement on most points, lets leave it at that.

Posted by: Rocky at February 25, 2006 1:23 AM
Comment #129382

Jay jay,

sorry for the confusion - i did not specify that i was referring to the institution of marriage in its entirety, both legal and religious aspects (and i may have wavered between meanings in previous posts, i don’t know).

“Maybe the answer is that the state does not recognize any marriages, only civil unions. The church could recognize marriages.”

i’m not sure that i wouldn’t prefer to do away with civil unions entirely; this would put the whole gay marriage argument behind us (who said that straight couples should be entitled to any special privilege anyway?) - but i’m not willing to commit to this, as i realize the intent of such privilege is to encourage and facilitate the social institution of family. anyway, i pretty much agree.

as for gay adoption…

“Any person of noble character, regardless of political persuasion or sexual orientation or whatever, that is willing to take one of these kids and raise them has my admiration and support.”

…sounds right to me.

cole,

“My conclusion in all of this is that, if tested in the U.S. supreme court, homosexuals will not be excluded from marrying, and states will be precluded from denying them that ‘right’.”

i would not be too sure, i think that whether or not the justices recognize a precedent is entirely contextual, contingent on the given circumstances of the new case, and the presiding justices.

in any case, there are a great many reasons that i would not want this issue to come before the SCOTUS - however, i think i’ve fairly exhausted my arguments on the subject, short of going into a rant on the preeminence of federalism.

Posted by: diogenes at February 25, 2006 1:28 AM
Comment #129387

While it’s true that not all heterosexual
parents are perfect, is that a good enough
reason to further risk the emotional well
being of adoptive children on a social
experiment based on political correctness?

If we suddenly start to notice that border
collies are becoming worse at herding sheep,
do we somehow deduce that maybe wolves would do better? Or do we work harder at training the
border collies?

I know that analogy alone will draw anger ( at
least from JayJay ), but here’s something else
to ponder. While it’s true that there are
more heterosexual pedophiles in sheer numbers.
There are more homosexual pedophiles percentage
wise in the “gay” community than there is in the
straight community. And not all pedophiles
( straight, “gay” or bi-sexual ) are child
molesters. Some, hopefully most, draw the line
at JUST the fantasy, sick as it may be, without
attempting it.

As much as I hate to admit it, there are plenty
of REALLY bad heterosexual married couples who
physically, emotionally and sexually abuse their
own children. And these “parents” need the book
thrown at them. But jail time is hardly the only
cure. If President Bush was truly serious about
“No Child Left Behind”, there would be serious,
lengthy, in-depth training in all public and
private high schools on how to raise physically
and mentally healthy, vibrant children. It
wouldn’t hurt for all of our churches, mosques
and synogogues to do the same.

While the bath water may be dirty, let’s not
make things worse by throwing out the baby too.

Posted by: Dale G. at February 25, 2006 1:42 AM
Comment #129390

“What is truely amazing is that you would be so thin skined as to be offened so easily.”

yes, i must be ‘thin skined’, because i find this statement adequately insulting as well - watch yourself.

“You asked questions that don’t need to answered and tempted me to argue, I will not.”

you mean rhetorical questions… used to illustrate my point…or ‘argument’, if you will…but i digress…

“You said that we were in agreement on most points, lets leave it at that.”

that’s what i was subtly suggesting, when i initially stated…

“…there’s really no sense in arguing about this”

“i think this a bit inane - to argue when we seem to largely agree on this issue.”

“rather than pursue this argument, might i suggest that we focus the debate on those who think that the constitution should be amended to prohibit gay adoption/marriage outright? your call.”

maybe i should learn to be more forthright, but oh well, let’s ‘leave it’ now, instead.


Posted by: diogenes at February 25, 2006 1:50 AM
Comment #129392

BTW. Agree with them or not, at least the state
of Utah is consistent. There you can’t adopt a
child if you are an unmarried heterosexual
couple living together. No one wants to see or
hear about children of any age shuffled about
in foster care homes, though there are plenty
of good loving ones out there. A child should…
no, deserves a good nurturing home. But to play
with their well being by including yet one more
way of possibly screwing up their fragile
emotions even further, is not the correct course
of action.

Posted by: Dale G. at February 25, 2006 1:58 AM
Comment #129403

Dale,

“While it’s true that there are
more heterosexual pedophiles in sheer numbers.
There are more homosexual pedophiles percentage
wise in the “gay” community than there is in the
straight community. And not all pedophiles
( straight, “gay” or bi-sexual ) are child
molesters. Some, hopefully most, draw the line
at JUST the fantasy, sick as it may be, without
attempting it.”

Where do you get your figures from?

Though I have been married 25 years, I have spent nearly my entire life around gays, both men and women.
Never, have I met a gay person that I couldn’t trust. I also know gays that are in longer commited relationships, than most of my straight friends.

diogenes,

My intention wasn’t to offend, and I am sorry that you took offence. My position was stated in my first response to post. You asked questions that didn’t make any sense, such as about taxes, which I used only as a tool, and expression, as in a fine tax paying citizen. Your response to me was, it seemed anyway, out of left field, and as some of the recent discussions have run into some pretty bizare twists, I wanted to nip that in the bud.
Again, no offence was intended.
Perhaps I’m just cranky tonight after a long week.

Posted by: Rocky at February 25, 2006 2:43 AM
Comment #129421

When the Christian Right
controls your party.
Your Party tries to keep
them happy. You are blurring
the lines between church and
state. If allowed to continue
you have opened the gate to
Fundamentalism. By allowing
your Party to become the anti
abortion party with many
voteing on that single issue.
You lend respect to the
extremist who sees nothing
wrong in useing violence to
make a point. The end result
is you have supported religious
terrorism. Leave this issue
to the individual and the values
they hold. It is between her and
her god.
As far as gay rights. I have
known many gay people and
frankly you live in a glass
house if you ignore the fact
that they have been around
sinse time began. Yes they are
evan mentioned in the bible.
The whole gays are less than
human thing makes me ill.
Because once again the line
between church and stste has
placed this issue where it does
not belong. How about looking
at it from the X Y chromosome
Science View. But then for some
reason your party has turned
from science. Was that done for the
Capatalism or the religious factors?
It seems to me the conservatives
are so stuck on right they simply
are going in circles. If you circle
long enough you wide up with a hole
you can not climb out of.

Posted by: HONEYP at February 25, 2006 5:41 AM
Comment #129434

Quote:

“This whole anti gay-rights movement is very near and dear to the right’s heart. So what’s to be done?” - chantico

Amazing. Absolutely amazing. In the press the right wing is always careful to phrase these as “special rights.” Here, in the company of other right-wingers, one of you shows his (her?) true colors.

Shame on you. The day the Democratic party adopts an “anti-religious rights” platform, an “anti-heterosexual rights” platform, or just about any anti-rights platform is the day I stop supporting the party and actively start fighting it.

That, chantico, is what people of good conscience do. They stand up for everyone, not make political hay at the expense of a few.

Posted by: Jeff at February 25, 2006 9:39 AM
Comment #129448

tomh,

“God created a man and a woman. Part of their responsibility was to procreate and enlarge the population of the earth.”

Your mythological beliefs are not germane to this conversation. Luckily, we have the 5th and 14th Amendments which specifically provide “due process of law” to all Americans, which will sooner or later have to extend to sexual orientation as it has to race and gender.

Posted by: Arr-squared at February 25, 2006 11:34 AM
Comment #129455

Lawrence Wakefield said:

Many practices and moral values that have been deemed accepted for over two hundred years are under attack.

This is the part I’ve had the most difficulty understanding. Can anyone explain how any one person’s marriage actually affects any other? I mean, if the neighbors are having difficulties and getting divorced, or if the neighbors are happily married, or if the neighbors are gay married, please explain how this affects YOUR marriage. I don’t think anyone can explain that, which makes the above statement completely hollow neocon rhetoric.

Craig Holmes said:

1. Kids need both male and female postive role models.

2. Best, (speaking idealistically) is a mother and father in a traditional marriage.

I’ve never seen non-religious data to back that thought. This type of logic could be extended to conclude that single mothers are incapable of raising children. Hence, if a husband is killed in Iraq, the children back home are just screwed for lack of a father. I don’t believe that to be true, and I know you don’t either.

5. I have seen data than hetrosexual men are the largest abusers of children, especially sexually

Really? I thought it was pedophiles?…

Let’s not confuse the issues. Pedophelia and the sexual orientation between consenting adults are two entirely different things going on. Confusing pedophelia with homo or heterosexuality is damaging not only to homo or heterosexuality, but more importantly, our society’s ability to understand pedophelia. Muddying the waters on this matter does not help anyone, but it does a lot of harm.

Posted by: Taylor at February 25, 2006 12:18 PM
Comment #129508

Hell yea! Now this what I’m talking about! This is why me and my friends voted for George Busch. He’s going to stop those gays and fetal murderers! Hell I would not have voted at all if they din’t inform us that if we din’t vote republican, the Democrats would have brung in the Gays and Lesbians and other sinners and they would be running us over! Being a swing vote person, like me and the other folks at church, we were instrumental in getting him in office to stop those gays!! Get’em George! The Bible says “Lord is my sheperd” and George is our sheperd bringing christianity into the white house. Amen to that! God bless George Busch! Hey Mr. Busch, since I’m a republican like you, is it ok if I call you “Shep”?

Posted by: Joe Sixpack at February 25, 2006 5:32 PM
Comment #129526

The thing we all need to remember is Gods Word does not change and each of us will have to stand before him in Judgement!

Posted by: Daniel Younger at February 25, 2006 7:13 PM
Comment #129561

Taylor:

I’ve never seen non-religious data to back that thought. This type of logic could be extended to conclude that single mothers are incapable of raising children. Hence, if a husband is killed in Iraq, the children back home are just screwed for lack of a father. I don’t believe that to be true, and I know you don’t either.

It would be best for the children if their father had not died. We live in an imperfect world.

In a perfect world there would not be children up for adoption!! The only reason for adoption in the first place is a world that is tough on kids. That doesn’t change the ideal as being a loving mother and a loving father.

Divorce is horrible on children, with scars that last a lifetime. I am reading a book right now about twenty somethings and their reluctance to make commitments because either their parents were divorced or most of their friends parents were divorced.

Most adoptive children have issues as they grow up, and need intervention. Adoption is a crisis in a child’s life. It messes with their identity. But it is infinitely better than being bounced around in the foster care system for their growing up years.

Instead of focusing on absolutes it’s important that we work to improve children’s lives.

The biggest issue in adoption is not the gay issue, but the race issue. there are currently 50,000 black children needing homes. Most children that need adoption come from poorer families. When we look at adoptive families, of course we look for financial stability. This means that white families are the ones who adopt many of these children. That is a huge issue with many african americans. The hard practical fact is that there are not currently enough black families who can adopt these children.

It is a parallel debate over the gay issue. Are those who are opposed to gay marriage willing to adopt all these children? Are African American families willing to adopt these 50,000 kids? The answer is no to both.

In the end of the day, we make decisions based on available resourses. Here are the children who need loving homes, and here are the best families we can find. God bless every one of those families who is willing to take one of these kids. They are giving these children a loving safe place to grow up outside of the foster care system. Ideal? most times not. Better? most times yes.

My own daughter is a pretty good example. I will use her if you all promise to protect confidentiality a bit.

We are her fourth family. Her birth mother had a nervous breakdown. She was single and 24. My daughter was then placed in a home with intention of adoption. This couple was “ideal” in that there was a loving mother and father. Then this “ideal” couple were picked up on drug charges. Back into fostercare. The a really “ideal” couple adopted her. They were conservative christians. They beat her. My wife was the secretary at her elementary school when child protective services came. We are family number four. It has been our joy to have her these last 9 years. (She was 8 when she came to us).

Adoption is a tough business. Adoptive parents and children have difficult times. It hasn’t been easy. (She blessed us with our first grandchild at age 17 which we are helping to raise). (7 months old!!)

Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t change a thing. It is tough, but it’s wonderful. Anyone willing to do what we have done, my hat is off to them. There are too many children out there to be messing with poltics on this issue.

I believe it is best for children to have a loving mother and a loving father. THere simply are not enough of these homes out there. I am gratiful to all the the gay couples and single parents, crap everyone who is willing to take in these children and give them a better life.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 25, 2006 8:50 PM
Comment #129593

Joe Sixpack,

if you weren’t so obvious, you might be funny.
Why don’t you go back to those discussion
boards at Yahoo where the majority of morons
hang out and concentrate there on being
outrageous and …”clever”. Here, you’re not fooling anyone. You’re just showing how a Dem,
acting like a stupid, hick Republican, is the
real fool.

Posted by: Dale G. at February 25, 2006 10:37 PM
Comment #129594

WHOA JACK!!! WRONG WAY!!!!

You’re comparing banning gay marriage and gay adoption to banning alcohol!?!? Wanted or not, the United States has a morality. A country needs a morality to survive. Ours is based on the Bible. Prohibition ended because, well, it was stupid. Jesus drank wine, even created it. Jesus was not, however gay. Though he loved sinners, Jesus hated sin. I think it’s terrible you think we shouldn’t ban gay marriage. I think it’s DISGUSTING you think we shouldn’t ban gay adoption. What kind of household do you think that could possibly give a child?

Posted by: CommonSense at February 25, 2006 10:37 PM
Comment #129596
The thing we all need to remember is Gods Word does not change and each of us will have to stand before him in Judgement!

Daniel,

Are you talking about the word preserved by the Holy Spirit or the written word? If you are talking about the written word, then you are wrong, it has changed many times over. Just do a short history of the Bible and that will become apparent.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 25, 2006 10:41 PM
Comment #129617

I personally don’t care whether gays marry or not. My only suggestion would be that whether it is two men or two women, one of the partners woulld have to register as a man and one would have to register as a woman prior to the marriage.
This would make it much easier to divide assets, award alimony, child support etc. when the lawyers, courts and the state get involved to dissove the marriage. I find it amazing that at a time that many gays are fighting for the right to marry, many heterosexuals are forgoing marriage, especially the elderly.

Posted by: Norm at February 26, 2006 12:13 AM
Comment #129673

Commonsense:

I think it’s DISGUSTING you think we shouldn’t ban gay adoption.

How many children are you willing to adopt?

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 26, 2006 10:31 AM
Comment #129678

“CommonSense”

Hate to break it to you, but our country is NOT based on the Bible. (There are several instances in the bible that condone slavery, if you recall, for starters)

Secondly, do some #$(%ing research on whether or not gays can make good parents, before calling it ‘disgusting’. I fully support ANY stable family (emphasis on stable) being able to adopt an unwanted kid. Though I am technically ‘hetero’ I plan on adopting rather than having my own.

On a side note, are you SURE Jesus couldn’t have been gay? he never married, as I recall. He never said he what his orientation was. Personally, I don’t think it matters.

Posted by: Kimberly at February 26, 2006 11:06 AM
Comment #130046

Many people seem to have missed my point. I went beyond the issue of gay adoption to the larger question of “How does a free pluralistic society decide moral issues?” Please know that my responses are not attacks on people, just working through the issue.

Erica wrote: “These issues should not be enshrined in the bedrock of a government until opinion is at least steady and hopefully nearly universal.”

There are two problems with this test that immediately come to mind. First, at what point is the majority considered “nearly universal?” 99%? What about 95% Or say 90% If it is 90%, then surely only one less should not change things! Etc. Who decides?

Second, homosexuality was once viewed as sin by – shall we say a nearly universal majority in the western world - and outlawed in most if not all the states in the USA. Attitudes have changed (for the better or worse is not my issue here). That which is a steady opinion for one generation or one population base is different for another. So this test does not work.

Chantico, seems to put forth two tests. He separates issues into two categories: crime and punishment, and moral. It is permissible to legislate crime and punishment issues, but not moral issues. His second test is whether or not an issue affects people negatively. Negative affects place the issue into the crime category. Non-negative affects place the issue in the moral category.

The problem with the first test is that things like murder and stealing are moral issues. Simply look up moral in the dictionary.

Second, not everyone thinks those issues are wrong or have the same standards for them. Some people believe that taking liberties on your income tax return is permissible; cheating insurance companies doesn’t hurt anyone. How about murder? There are people who would argue that there are times when murder is morally permissible. Is it morally OK to kill a person who is about to kill me or someone else? Society would probably say yes. It is not really murder. Is it OK to kill a person who is on his way to kill someone else? That’s a tougher question? Is it OK to kill a doctor on his way to an abortion clinic where he will perform many abortions that day? (For the record, I say it is wrong.) Many who believe abortion is murder would say yes using the above reasoning.

Moral issues do not affect other people negatively is also a false statement. Let’s stay with the abortion example for a moment, because it is seen as a moral issue. Does it hurt anyone? Abortion is a serious undertaking. Consideration is now being given to withdraw approval of the abortion pill RU486 due to the number of complications and deaths associated with its use. Women who have an abortion are at higher risk for not being able to have children in the future. Then there are the emotional scars and feelings of guilt that large numbers of women who have had abortions go through.

Then there is the issue of whether or not it is murder; another negative affect. It kills a living fetus, which is a human being in its early stage of development. This is certainly a negative affect on the person in its early stage of growth.
Would you be willing to live in a society where your neighbor had the freedom to kill their child if they decided they no longer wanted the child or taking care of the child became too much of a hardship. One person may not view abortion this way, but there are others who do.

Then there is the impact on those around the person getting an abortion. As a parent, I would rather have my home robbed (stealing) than my teenage daughter have an abortion without my input and knowledge. My care for my daughter and grandchild far outweighs my care about my possessions.
You seem to approach this greater issue as if everyone agrees with your positions. “War is, at times, a necessary evil to protect citizens.” I agree, but many people do not. While taxes are necessary for government, my example was of confiscatory taxes for the purpose of redistributing wealth. They are not necessary and I would argue they are immoral.
I agree that whether or not an issue has a negative affect on society is an important aspect for society to look at in deciding its values. That in itself usually has disagreement in the hard issues. Deciding law is not easy in a large pluralistic society. People and people groups disagree over what is or is not a moral issue, what moral values are necessary for society, and whether or not a moral value is neutral on society. In the difficult issues, what is neutral for one is usually seen as negative for another. So how do we decide? I close with a humorous example of how people hold differing values.
For years, missionaries have been translating and taking a movie called “Jesus” or “The Jesus Film” into back tribal areas around the world. They showed it to one tribe whose top moral value was treachery. People who hurt others through treachery and defrauding were treated like Olympic gold medalists. Enron executives would have been honored as heroes. They cheered when Judas betrayed Jesus in the garden scene. This is in contrast to another tribe where one of the warriors became so distraught that he pierced Judas with a beautiful throw of his spear, thus tearing the screen.

Posted by: Lawrence Wakefield at February 27, 2006 7:57 PM
Comment #130050

Charlie wrote: freedom means everyone has a right to thier own opinion and live their life as they wish as long as it doesnt negatively affect others right to do the same

That sounds good, but who decides and how when there isn’t agreement on if the issue negatively affects others.

Posted by: Lawrence Wakefield at February 27, 2006 8:06 PM
Comment #130328

Women who have an abortion are at higher risk for not being able to have children in the future.

— This is not necessarily true

Then there are the emotional scars and feelings of guilt that large numbers of women who have had abortions go through.

— What about guilt at not being able to care for your child? What if the girl who has a child doesn’t have parents to turn to, or she risks being thrown out of her house if found out to be pregnant?

Then there is the issue of whether or not it is murder; another negative affect. It kills a living fetus, which is a human being in its early stage of development.

— A fetus is not a human being. I’ve always had the opinion that if it can’t survive outside the womb on it’s own - its not a baby. 6 - 9 months, its been done - a baby born and lived. first three months, its a pile of tissue. It might even be considered life, or one day a human, but even at that time period, a woman can abort naturally, if her body thinks there’s something wrong with the fetus.

“Would you be willing to live in a society where your neighbor had the freedom to kill their child if they decided they no longer wanted the child or taking care of the child became too much of a hardship. One person may not view abortion this way, but there are others who do.”

— First of all, this is alarmist and stupid. Americans would never accept this, nor would the US government, which is why we have the programs available to save kids (most of the time) from homicidal maniac parents.

“Then there is the impact on those around the person getting an abortion. As a parent, I would rather have my home robbed (stealing) than my teenage daughter have an abortion without my input and knowledge. My care for my daughter and grandchild far outweighs my care about my possessions.”

— Really? what about your neighbor, who may have raped their own daughter? would you want parental notification then? I’m not saying your aren’t compassionate - I commend you for being one of those who would NOT kick their child out for being pregnant. However, it is her body and her choice, especially if she isn’t old enough to care for it. A womans life can be ruined forever by forcing her to have a child she doesn’t want.

I’m not attempting to argue with you, I just want to point out my side of things, as a female who has thankfully never had to make such a choice.

Posted by: Kimberly at February 28, 2006 5:07 PM
Comment #132415

Kimberly,

You need to familiarize yourself with the health risk evidence. The following is a very small sampling of statements from Women’s Health after Abortion: The Medical and Psychological Evidence. http://deveber.org/text/whealth.html#five

Women who have an abortion are at higher risk for not being able to have children in the future.

Since the 1970s, there has been a marked increase in North America in the number of abortions and repeat abortions, which may explain the significant increases in pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), uterine hemorrhage, sepsis, pain due to endometritis, retained fetal or placental tissue, and the increasing evidence of an abortion-breast cancer link.

Abortion increases a woman’s overall risk of breast cancer by 30 per cent.

The risk is likely much higher in women who have a first abortion at a young age

The biological rationale for breast cancer development is related to the woman’s unprotected internal exposure to estrogen when a pregnancy is abruptly terminated early in gestation.

The magnitude of the risk has, until recently, been hidden by studies of poor quality, many of which have failed to separate induced abortion from low-risk spontaneous miscarriage.

No previous births and an earlier abortion put a woman at significant risk of post-abortion complications leading to possible infertility.

— What about guilt at not being able to care for your child? What if the girl who has a child doesn’t have parents to turn to, or she risks being thrown out of her house if found out to be pregnant?

Adoption and giving the child to the state are options. Safe guards are in place for the child risking being thrown out of the house. The percentage of girls thrown out of the house is miniscule at best in relation to the children aborted.

— A fetus is not a human being. I’ve always had the opinion that if it can’t survive outside the womb on it’s own - its not a baby. 6 - 9 months, its been done - a baby born and lived. first three months, its a pile of tissue. It might even be considered life, or one day a human, but even at that time period, a woman can abort naturally, if her body thinks there’s something wrong with the fetus.

That may be your opinion, but it is not the truth.

Week 6 The embryo is about 1/5 of an inch in length. A primitive heart is beating. Head, mouth, liver, and intestines begin to take shape.

Week 10 The embryo is now about 1 inch in length. Facial features, limbs, hands feet fingers and toes become apparent. The nervous system is responsive and many of the internal organs begin to function.

Week 14 The fetus is now 3 inches long and weighs almost an ounce. The muscles begin to develop and sex organs form. Eyelids, fingernails, and toenails also form. The child’s spontaneous movements can be observed.

Week 18 The fetus is now about 5 inches long. The child blinks, grasps, and moves her mouth. Hair grows on the head and body.
http://www.w-cpc.org/fetal.phtml

Second, I know of no full term baby who can survive outside of the womb on its own. Every baby needs just as much care outside of the womb as he or she did inside of the womb. No toddler can survive own its own. Let’s go beyond that with your definition of “survive outside the womb on its own.” My mother had multiple sclerosis for 50 years. She could not have survived on her own for her last 25 years. I believe you care for life, but you should know that there are people use your definition of life as an argument for euthanasia.

You seriously need to rethink your definition of a human being.

“Would you be willing to live in a society where your neighbor had the freedom to kill their child if they decided they no longer wanted the child or taking care of the child became too much of a hardship. One person may not view abortion this way, but there are others who do.”

— First of all, this is alarmist and stupid. Americans would never accept this, nor would the US government, which is why we have the programs available to save kids (most of the time) from homicidal maniac parents.

Precisely my point! We would never put up with that. Yet, the major reason for abortion is unwanted child. Please help me see the difference.

— Really? what about your neighbor, who may have raped their own daughter? would you want parental notification then? I’m not saying your aren’t compassionate - I commend you for being one of those who would NOT kick their child out for being pregnant. However, it is her body and her choice, especially if she isn’t old enough to care for it. A womans life can be ruined forever by forcing her to have a child she doesn’t want.

Safe guards can be put in place to protect the child from hostile parents, incest, etc.

The aborted child’s life IS ruined forever.

You are arguing the death of millions for the sake of hundreds. If those hundreds can find their way to an abortion clinic, they can find their way to legal help and safe guards from dangerous family situations.

You sound like a very caring person, but your reasoning is based upon emotion and not facts.


Posted by: Lawrence Wakefield at March 9, 2006 12:06 PM
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