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More state efforts to ban gays from adopting

Sixteen states have some sort of measures on tap to ban gays from adopting, in a continuation of the culture wars being used to drum up votes in the fall election.

Reality-based people see the system full of children who are in need of loving homes, and the bigoted bible beaters are clearly more interested in politicking than stepping up and adopting these children. They’d rather deprive kids of the chance at a permanent home, simply because the prospective adoptive parents are gay. That’s hardly “Christian” of them. (USAToday):

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.

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.’ “

Of course it is always couched as somehow protecting the children by the wingers.

Marriage or any civil union has been declared unconstitutional (in Ohio), so why would they be able to adopt children?” asks the Rev. Russell Johnson, chairman of the Ohio Restoration Project, a conservative Christian group. “These people cannot reproduce. … Experimenting on children through gay adoption is a problem.”

Johnson led the fight in 2004 to get marriage on the ballot and vows to do the same with adoption this year if legislators don’t act. The group plans to tout the adoption ban in a mailing to nearly 500,000 supporters in mid-March.

But if gay marriage unites most conservatives in opposition, gay adoption does not. Already, there are splits among Republicans.

This is not an issue about gays,” says Ohio House Speaker Jon Husted, a Republican, who was adopted as a child. “This is about children.” Although he favored legislation to ban same-sex marriage in Ohio, he opposes the adoption bill and has no plans to schedule a hearing to discuss it.

Conservatives may well overreach if they try to ban gays from adopting children,” Brookings Institution political analyst Thomas Mann says. “Americans have become more tolerant of same-sex relations, and this action may strike them as unnecessarily punitive.”

The article also cited recent polls indicating that there isn’t public support for this kind of bigotry — asked about a constitutional amendment to ban adoptions by gays and lesbians, 58% of Missouri voters polled in November and 62% of Ohio voters this month said they would vote against it.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding