In case you've been living under a burp cloth or listening to "Kid Bop" instead of talk radio for the last few months, the state of Massachusetts has laws allowing gay couples to adopt without discrimination. Controversy ensued from this decision as the Catholic Church decided in March that they could not morally and ethically continue to support gay adoptions as a tenet of their religion.
Just recently, the Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, tried to create legal loopholes for the Catholic Charities of Boston to continue to discriminate against gay couples in effort to stave off the possibility of overburdening the resources of the state. Catholic Charities is responsible for placing approximately 100 needy children a year, only 2% of which are placed into gay family households.
As you can imagine, gay couples are none too pleased with the possible provisions to allow the Catholic Church to legally discriminate against them. In a time where the gay rights movement has witnessed small victories, such as the allowance for gay marriage as aided by judicial intervention in Massachusetts and gay issues reaching out through mainstream media has put their grievances in the forefront of America.
The problem I see in allowing the Catholic Church to circumvent the law is that it is "The Law", and we cannot allow ourselves as a society to make exceptions to that law, especially based on religion. If the Catholic Church is going to accept government funding, shouldn't they be required to abide by the laws of the state? Who else on earth would be exempt from having to uphold the law? Conversely, if the Catholic Church were to solely obtain its funding for adoptions through private offerings, then they should have a right to pick and choose whom they want to place children with. (All of this seems ridiculously ironic being the Catholic Church is responsible for supporting or ignoring some priests which have been the biggest threat and danger to children, without properly acknowledging or handling the shameful situation.)
In observing gay parents in and around my own city, anecdotal evidence provides me with the knowledge that those couples are the most likely to adopt children that nobody wants -- special needs, minority, older children and sick children. It does in fact seem counter-productive to discriminate based on adult activities which are nonexclusive to gay couples and outside of children's sight and knowledge. I believe much of the uncertainty and skepticism against gay adoption comes from the misinformed belief that gay people are perverted and that they will act inappropriately with their children. This is unequivocally wrong and even ignorant.
Given that Christian organizations are not likely to denounce what they believe is Biblical interpretation, an abomination, this makes for a social conundrum. The biggest obstacle is the lack of middle ground and the inability to acknowledge any other viewpoint but one's own -- on both sides. There is absolutely no compromise in social activism; similarly there is no middle ground where tolerance is expected.
The advocates of gay rights and equal rights in general see any acknowledgement of differences as a threat to their cause. This inability to recognize, even in a very positive way, our differences, can alienate the mainstream for the very reasons that the social activists start their plight to begin with -- to be respected for what they are and for what they're not. Perplexing is the criticism mainstream parents and individuals receive, when in fact they are the great compromisers. They get criticized from the left for being too conservative, for not being savvy enough or enlightened enough in their views, and they get criticized on the right for not being conservative enough, for being too secular and for not being true to "family values".
As sixteen states are set to pass laws banning gay adoption, the mainstream are those in which influence creates winners and losers. Acceptance of gay couples is complex in its inability to rely on baby steps. It's almost an "all or nothing" proposition to most. It's hard to intellectualize the concept of condoning gay adoption while opposing gay marriage, with the left's demand for total equality and ultra political correctness, causing an impasse for which gay indoctrination takes on a political agenda in schools and society. Mainstream folks are not likely to sympathize with their cause.
Equally as concerning are religious extremists who blog about homeschooling as a means to shelter their children from homosexuality and extreme lunatic fringe organizations such as Pastor Fred Phelp's Westboro Baptist Church, known for protesting fallen soldier's funerals with hate speech and accusations that soldiers are being killed as God's punishment for homosexuality in America. The moral high ground is in not having to pick the lesser of two evils, but to do the right thing. The mainstream needs to look at the parts of the whole and support what's best for children -- parents who will love them and take excellent care of them and sometimes that perfect fit will happen to be in a gay household.
What's the alternative? Foster care? Group homes? Compromising requirements for straight couples? Plenty of abuse has been at the hands of adopted straight parents, so why deny a qualified gay couple the privilege -- and sometimes burden -- of raising children if they are truly the most qualified? Especially if that is what the law requires.
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