Gay Patriot Header Image

Why gay people should want to reduce the number of abortions

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:54 pm - January 21, 2011.
Filed under: 112th Congress,Gay Adoption,GOProud

Today, GOProud came out in favor of an end to taxpayer funding of abortion.  Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia explains:

It doesn’t matter where one stands on the question of abortion; we believe that the use of taxpayer funds to provide abortions is a fiscal issue.  There is no question, that in these times of out of control deficit spending and growing mountains of debt, it is unconscionable that one penny of federal taxpayer dollars would be spent on abortion.

For the longest time, I’ve wondered why gay groups have joined the various “abortion rights” groups opposing any and all restrictions on the practice.  Indeed, HRC’s current president Joe Solmonese worked most recently for EMILY’s list, a group dedicated to electing Democratic women committed to keeping abortion legal.

So beholden are folks like Joe to being part of the coalition of left-wing groups that they refuse to see how reaching beyond that narrow coalition can help gays.  Shouldn’t gay people want to reduce the number of abortions as that would increase the number of babies available for adoption, making it easier for gay people to become parents?

Such outreach would also put some pro-lifers on the spot, testing their commitment to human life.  Would they rather a baby be aborted or have the mother carry the child to term, only to have the infant adopted by a loving gay (or lesbian) couple?  Perhaps, that would not be their ideal (with them preferring adoption by a straight married couple), but at least the baby would have the chance to live and be raised by caring parents hoping for progeny.

It would be nice if gay groups could think outside the box.  They might then find that alliances with left-wing gay groups aren’t the only way to make t things better for gay people.

Nice to see GOProud daring to oppose the received wisdom of our community “leaders.”

On the expectation of activism among some gay groups

As soon as I finish this post, I’ll head downtown to begin volunteering at Outfest, LA’s gay and lesbian film festival.  This will be my tenth consecutive year working for the organization.

I have been such a regular volunteer for this festival for a great variety of reasons — even if I sometimes question some of the choices of the programming department — including an overall support of the organization’s mission (I believe film can be an important vehicle to promote a greater understanding of gay men and lesbians) and an appreciation for their attitude toward volunteers.

This may sound like hyperbole, but it’s true:  I have never volunteered for a gay organization that has shown greater respect for its volunteers.  I can no longer count the times I have been thanked for my efforts.  Having supervised volunteers for nine years, I strive to express the same gratitude.  Outfest allows volunteers to see films for free (on a space available basis) and holds annual cookouts, both before and after the festival, to thank returning volunteers and the current year’s volunteers, respectively.

Recently discussing the way Outfest treats its volunteers with a friend on the left, also enthusiastic about the festival, he too contrasted the organization with other gay groups and suggested that some have this kind of expectation of activism, that they believe gay individuals “owe” it to the community to give of their time.  Thus, they take our efforts for granted, with an acquaintance reporting that when he recently volunteered at the LA banquet of a national gay organization, his supervisor wouldn’t allow him a bathroom break.

It’s as if they feel we should be honored to be able to volunteer our time.

So, once again, kudos to Outfest for the gratitude it shows to its volunteers.  May other gay organizations follow its example.

Huck on Gay Adoption

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 11:44 pm - April 18, 2010.
Filed under: Gay Adoption

Okay, quick twofer here (not that you asked for it) on former Arkansas Governor Michael Huckabee’s interview last week.

He talked about more than just Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, of course. In fact, his most consequential comments were in regard to gay adoption. About gays who wanted to adopt children, his comments were, in full (well, as in full as reported online by the newspaper):

I think this is not about trying to create statements for people who want to change the basic fundamental definitions of family…

And always we should act in the best interest of the children, not in the seeming interest of the adults.

Children are not puppies

This is not a time to see if we can experiment and find out, how does this work?

Now, I’ve never met Huck, so I’m not going to try to delve too deeply into his motivations. I think he’s likely a very good man who just sees the world (having been a Baptist minister) very differently than I do. That said, I can’t help but read his comments as being suggestive that he believes gay couples who wish to adopt see doing so not as a loving extension of their family, hoping to bring joy and stability to an otherwise orphan, but simply as a novelty or trophy of some sort.

Of course, I imagine if I put it that way to him, he’d have a more gentle way of putting it, but I think that’s generally where he comes down, and I think he’s wrong.

But here’s where the cool twist comes in:
(more…)

The Conservative Homosexual Agenda?

There has been vigorous email debate today among the GayPatriot crowd, and a good suggestion was made to make it a posting:   What would be the elements of a “conservative” homosexual agenda?  The debate began after a few of us read this news item from Matt Barber at Townhall.com.

As with every major political movement, the homosexual lobby is pushing a specific agenda. It is often called the “gay agenda.” At its core is a concerted effort to remove from society all traditional notions of sexual morality and replace them with the post-modern concept of sexual relativism. That is to say, when it comes to sex, there is never right or wrong.   All sexual appetites are “equal.” If it feels good, do it.  Ultimately, the homosexual lobby’s primary objective is to radically redefine our foundational institutions of legitimate marriage and the nuclear family by unraveling God’s natural design for human sexuality. In so doing, they hope to elevate their own spiritual and biological counterfeit and establish a sexually androgynous society wherein natural distinctions between male and female are dissolved.  This creates cultural and moral anarchy.     

Our email exchanges all agreed that Mr. Barber was a bit over the top…. but there was some validity to his overall premise.  There is a radical LIBERAL gay agenda. So logically, blog ally VtheK brought forth the question open for debate now:

It begs the question of what a conservative homosexual agenda would look like.  I guess where that would get bogged down is on the issues of marriage and adoption.   It’s difficult to reconcile an agenda that would, presumably, seek those things while retaining traditional values.   I guess the approach would have to be two-fold.  1.) Declaring that marriage as an institution should be defined by voters, not by judges and  2.) That gay relationships should model monogamy and commitment as ideals, and that the expectation of monogamy and commitment should be normalized within the gay community.     

Have at it.   My only remaining question is… why is it left to us to develop the Gay Conservative Agenda, when last I checked there were people giving money to Log Cabin (Republicans) to do that kind of work???   Oh… yeah…. I forgot:   they are too busy being giddy about government payouts.

From LCR email entitled, “Free Money!”

President Bush this week signed a huge economic stimulus package.  Most Log Cabin members will receive a check from Uncle Sam in the amount of $600 dollars, and we hope you’ll consider stimulating Log Cabin by donating all or part of your tax rebate check.

Hmmm.. how “very Human Rights Campaign” !

LCR=gay conservatives?   Sure, and I’m a purple cow.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)   *moooooooooooo*  

UPDATE (from Dan):  Sorry I haven’t had much time to weigh in on this topic, but it is something that I have considered for some time.  I think the basic gay conservative agenda is a word we hear less and less frequently from the lips of the heads of gay organizations — and read less and less often in their statements and press releases — and that word is “freedom.”  Leave each individual free to live his life as he chooses.  Of course, that is just the beginning, but it is also the unifying theme. And then, there’s the fundamental issue of what we do with that freedom.  But, that, Senator Obama notwithstanding, is not a question for the political sphere. 

Are Gay Leaders Reluctant to Affirm Values of Good Parenting?

One of the reasons I have posted a number of pieces on the Folsom Street Fair (this being the third) is that I believe it provides gay people an opportunity to stand up against some of the extreme behavior in our community and affirm certain basic values. And in affirming those values, we help show how similar our lives — and our hopes — are to those of our straight peers.

Not only that, in criticizing extremes in our community, we take on other extremes, those anti-gay social conservatives who attempt to define all gay people by the most outlandish behavior in our community. An action similar to the idea Albert Camus described as “the ‘no’ which affirms” in his book, The Rebel.

Some have pointed out the particular story I referenced in my first post was two years old. Even Michelle Malkin noted as much in the piece which alerted me to the issue, writing that the twin toddlers dressed in pet collars by their gay male parents was taken at the “2005 fair.” While that picture may be two years old, in a subsequent post, Michelle included a screen capture from the fair’s web-page about this year’s festivities, noting the they “don’t have age restrictions” at the fair.

In denouncing the absence of age restrictions, gay leaders could affirm the value that certain things are not appropriate for children. Affirming a value by saying “no” to something which violates it.

They could also affirm a value by providing examples of those who affirm in it in their everyday lives.

In some ways, the Bush White House has done a better job of showing the similarity between gay parents and straight parents. The White House press office issued nearly identical press releases announcing the births of the Vice President’s three grandsons, all born since he took office, the last one, Samuel David Cheney, being the son of Mary Cheney and her partner Heather Poe, the elder two, the sons of Mary’s sister Liz. (Releases for Mary’s son, here and for Liz’s sons, here and here.)

Note that in each of the three pictures, we see the Vice President and his wife Lynne, with captions identifying the baby’s parents. While some gay bloggers groused that the White House didn’t include a picture of Sam’s lesbian parents, no straight bloggers groused that the White House didn’t include a picture of his cousins’ straight parents when they were born.

The White House treats the birth of a child to the Vice President’s lesbian daughter the same as it treats the birth of a child to the Vice President’s straight daughter.

That’s a pretty good way to promote a positive image of gay parenting.

If gay leaders are truly concerned about improving the public image of the gay community rather than advancing a partisan agenda, they should praise parents like Vice President and Mrs. Cheney who recognize that their lesbian daughter is just as capable of raising a child as their straight offspring.

Yet, it seems to be too much for gay organizations to praise a conservative Vice President. Just as it seems too much for them to criticize a gay organization which allows kids to attend a festival featuring sexually explicit behavior.

Gay Leaders Should Demand Folsom Street Fair Prevent Children from Attending

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:57 pm - October 2, 2007.
Filed under: Freedom,Gay Adoption,Gay Marriage,Gay Politics

Pretty much a libertarian on how people act out their sexuality, I would normally have little to say about this past weekend’s Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco. The fair, billed as “the grand daddy of all leather events” takes place every year in San Francisco and features scantily clad and fully nude men as well as public displays of sexuality, particularly the S & M variant. It even features a man “masturbating in public.”

Leather and S & M aren’t my thing, but if that’s how guys (& gals) want to express their sexuality, well, that’s their choice.

It’s one thing, however, for adults to express their sexuality as they see fit, it’s quite another to bring children, particularly toddlers into such displays. Yesterday, Michelle Malkin reported that one gay couple brought their twin two-year-old daughters to the event clad in a “a leather-studded harness.” This couple even decked the toddlers in “black leather collars purchased from a pet store.

I agree with those there who “said children should not be allowed inside.

If gay leaders are serious about promoting adoption in our community, they then should join me and those fairgoers who believe it is “inappropriate to have children at the event.” By taking a stand against this behavior, they will make it clear that they understand the responsibilities which inhere in raising children.

They will also make it clear that not all gay people support the sexual license so prevalent in the gay (particularly the gay male world). Such public opposition would help Americans recognize that we see our sexuality as more than mere physical gratification, but as a force which can serve as the foundation for strong families.

Gay leaders should not mince their words in criticizing parents who bring children to such gatherings as the Folsom Street Fair. Let those who adults who wish to attend do so and express themselves as they see fit. But, let’s also understand the distinction between that freedom of sexual expression and the responsibilities of parenting.

If we gay people believe ourselves worthy of the privileges of marriage and adoption, we need to show publicly that we recognize such distinctions. It is inappropriate for children to attend a sexually-themed celebration.

I hope that gay leaders will join me in criticizing the fair for allowing children to attend and demanding that, at future celebrations, it limit attendance to those over 18.

- B. Daniel Blatt (GayPatriotWest@aol.com)

NJ’s Ex Gay-vernor Sues For Custody Of Kids

15 Minute Fame Clock still ticking…..

Jim To Dina:  I Want Custody – The Pot & The Kettle

Former Gov. James E. McGreevey has revised his divorce lawsuit against his estranged wife and is now seeking sole custody of the couple’s 5-year-old daughter — and child support.

The new documents make no mention of a “matrimonial settlement agreement” that McGreevey’s original divorce filing said had resolved all issues of custody and support.

So why the change? Maybe it has to do with the fact that Jim has said that he and his partner, Mark O’Donnell, “plan to enter into a civil union after the divorce is finalized.”

I’m sure “The Pot” will keep us informed of any new details in the life of the most famous, self-declared “gay American” of our generation.  Thanks, Pot!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Cheney Doesn’t Take Bait When Blitzer Tries to Politicize His Daughter’s Pregnancy

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 9:20 pm - January 25, 2007.
Filed under: Gay Adoption,Media Bias

When I had first heard the Mary Cheney, the daughter of the Vice President, was pregnant, I thought to blog on it. But, I hesitated for two reasons. First, other bloggers had already said pretty much what I wanted to say. Second, it seemed to me that Mary’s pregnancy indicated that, after her time in the limelight, she and Heather wanted to settle down to a private, domestic life. And it wasn’t really my business to comment on her private life.

Now, some gay activists are in a huff that the Vice President called CNN’s Wolf Blitzer “out of line” for asking him to comment on a statement made by Focus on the Family, a socially conservative organization, critical of his daughter’s pregnancy. Roberta Sklar, spokesman for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLFT) said that such questions were “completely appropriate.

I disagree. Reader Peter Hughes sent me a link to this post where Tim Graham asks, “When has a Democratic national candidate’s sons or daughters ever been the subject of a national controversy?” He notes how the MSM assiduously “avoided the story of Al Gore’s teenage son Albert Gore III, caught driving 97 miles per hour on an interstate highway, an offense on the public record, just two days before the 2000 Democratic convention.

While CNN ignored this story, the network played up the story of the President’s daughters citation for underage drinking in 2001.

It seems it’s fair game to discuss the private lives of the children of Republican leaders, but not those of Democratic ones.

To be sure, the Vice President did, in the interview, express his delight that he’s “about to have a six grandchild,” but simply refused to answer a question about the implications of a lesbian becoming pregnant. Basically, he just didn’t want to politicize his daughter’s pregnancy.

It seems that Blitzer wanted to expose some tension between the White House and the socially conservative group. And while I would have loved to see the Vice President take on Focus on the Family, he wanted his daughter’s pregnancy to remain a private thing, a joy for his family and not a public thing, a source of national controversy.

And while Graham did note the double standard, he thought the question was “fair,” even if meant to cause trouble. Preferring to keep his family life as private as possible given his position, the Vice President did not take the bait. And, I believe, he did the right thing.

Gay Parenting, Part Three: WHY?

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 7:28 am - July 5, 2006.
Filed under: Gay Adoption,Gay America,Post 9-11 America

(GP Editor’s note:  This is the last of a three part series on Gay Adoption & Parenting by frequent GP commenters “V The K” and “Michigan Matt.”

The first part, Gay Adoption, can be viewed here. The second part, Pitfalls & Promises, can be viewed here.) 

So, adoption is tough, and parenting is tougher. And for gays and lesbians who parent, the costs are higher and the challenges even greater than those Glenn Reynolds describes in “The Parent Trap.” So, why would anyone raise children in this day and age? Why do unstraight people go to such lengths to parent when both the Anti-Family Left** and the Anti-Gay Right have it in for them?

(**The latest manifestation of the left’s attitude toward families is Laura Hirschman’s book-length attack on stay-at-home mothers Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of The World.)

Part of the reason is that parenting is not quite the grim science Glenn Reynolds makes it out to be. Only counting the economic costs and social risks of parenthood doesn’t take into account the social, psychological and, some would add, spiritual rewards that balance or even exceed the costs of parenting.

Children have always served to cement the bond between mother and father, although, unfortunately, in this era of self-fulfillment and easy divorce, it doesn’t often work that way. But for a gay couple, like Michigan-Matt and Michigan-Partner, raising children together deepens their commitment to one another; encouraging each partner to act with maturity, responsibility, and selflessness. These traits, and not selfish gratification, are the real building blocks of long-term happiness.

V the K will admit his kids have caused him a lot of time. money, stress, and lost opportunities. But having them around is more meaningful and gratifying than buying a new Land Rover or attending A-List cocktail parties (at least he imagines so, never having actually been to an A-List cocktail party, but even if they gave out winning lottery tickets and Superbowl rings at those things, he’d still rather have his kids). There is nothing that the material life can offer that compares with sharing the journey of a child to adulthood, watching your kid experience things for the first time, nurturing a young intellect and teaching a kid the things you believe, and a thousand other things you get from raising kids that you can’t get from all the parties, bars, and shopping malls on the planet.

There is also, as described previously, the privilege of joining the culture of families. The culture of families is as different from the culture of gay as 7th Heaven is from Queer As Folk, but if you’re into stability and positive values, it is a welcome change. In the culture of family, you embrace responsibility, not indulgence.  You appreciate the value of common sense and home-truths over the stylish cynicism of ironic detachment. Yes, Virginia, there is a Culture of Life, and it is awesome. Being a part of a community that reinforces positive social values is a benefit Reynolds can not quantify, and those who disdain family life can never appreciate.

And, at the margins, there is the consideration that even though government programs have sought to make the family unnecessary for financial security, families and children offer another kind of social security; a hedge against growing old alone, and with nothing to do.

You could still argue that those largely intangible benefits do not seem to balance the scales against the costs and the challenges, especially for the gay couple or sinle parent who has to fight all that harder to make it to parenthood. Perhaps they don’t, but there is still one more thing.

Our litigious, self-obsessed culture has made childlessness the easy choice and parenting the harder one. But those of us who make the harder choice do it for the same reason doctors still doctor when ambulance-chasing lawyers make the practice of medicine a dangerous and expensive minefield. We do it for the same reasons soldiers still soldier, when our media slimes them and our politicians undercut their mission at every opportunity. When a person does right against prevailing social pressure, one reason they do it is to be part of something greater than their selfish little lives. Love is defined by what you sacrifice, not by what gratifies you. Parents create the future in our children, and that is a mission far greater than our selfish wants.

- V the K and Michigan-Matt

(GP Ed. Note:  THANKS GUYS!)

Gay Parenting, Part Two: Pitfalls and Promise

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 8:15 am - July 2, 2006.
Filed under: Gay Adoption,Gay America,Gay Politics

(GP Editor’s note:  This is the second of a three part series on Gay Adoption & Parenting by frequent GP commenters “V The K” and “Michigan Matt.” The first part, Gay Adoption, can be viewed here.)

Adoption is a minefield, costly and fraught with emotional, psychological and legal peril. Parenting is a different kind of minefield. In addition to the obvious economic costs of parenthood, Glenn Reynolds writes that the litigiousness of contemporary society exposes every parent to the risk of a lawsuit, of harassment by authorities for the merest insinuation of abuse, or of kids falling astray of the legal idiocy known as “Zero Tolerance.” And, hell yes, there are also the mundane challenges of school conferences, homework, orthodontists, the terrible twos and apocalyptic teen years… the full Erma Bombeck experience.

Parents have faced these challenges throughout history, but for gay parents, there are additional pressures. For a gay couple or a single, parenthood can be an express ride to the outskirts of gay society, or even complete exile. The stereotype is that other gays will be supportive of gay parenting, while traditional parents and especially Christians will be hostile. It doesn’t quite work that way in real life.

Gay culture may be politically supportive of the idea of gay parenting, but in practice, it is often hostile to the lifestyle good parenting requires. Gay culture celebrates self-gratification and personal fulfillment, and parenting is about self-denial and personal responsibility. Parenting means choosing nurturing over partying, it means you go to school functions, not Pride Parades (unless, of course, you want to put up your kids as stage props to shock the normals).

Furthermore, when you adopt kids from foster care, as V the K did, you also have to cope with the stigma society attaches to kids in the foster care system. The greatest hostility VtK encountered as a parent didn’t come from a church or a politician, but from a lesbian couple who lived in the house next door, and were intensely hostile to his sons and harassed his family constantly; making threats, spreading malicious gossip, revving their Harleys outside his bedroom every weekend morning at 6:00 am, even standing on their back deck and glaring when VtK’s kids were in his backyard.

On the other hand, many Christians who disapprove of the concept of gay adoption, can actually be supportive in the actual parenting.  VtK’s original foster parenting license, for example, happened to be secured with the help of a church, and he was able to turn the church for support during the mot difficult period of his adoption. Another church helped a friend of VtK secure a foster license and is assisting with the adoption of one of his foster placements. The lesbian couple who cause VtK much grief moved out eventually, and their house was purchased by a minister and his wife, with whom VtK and his boys get along famously.  

Michigan-Matt and his partner sought religious counsel before beginning the adoption process. “Our parish priest and some good friends all advised us that our plans to adopt would be an emotionally vulnerable, financially taxing, legally arduous and probably a personally painful experience,” offered Michigan-Matt.

“In the end, they were 100% correct. But we watched other family members learn how unpredictable birth defects, childhood accidents and hundreds of other uncontrollable intervening events and people can adversely impact your dreams of becoming a parent. So we continued our efforts to become parents –gay parents.”

And once you have kids, other parents, by and large, don’t see you as “gay parents,” they just see you as other parents. Once you have kids, you enter a new community of other families with children; and you will often find that you have more in common with them than you do with people who just happen to share your orientation. But at the same time, gay couples and single parents also have challenges unique to their situations. To cite just one, gay parents have to deal with the fact that there is a 96% or better probability that their children will grow up to be heterosexual, and it follows that these children will, or should, aspire to committed, monogamous heterosexual relationships.

Kids growing up in traditional families have these relationships modeled for them by their parent’s example. A single parent simply can’t demonstrate the give and take of a committed relationship, and a gay couple can not demonstrate the dynamics within a heterosexual relationship. The best we can do is teach our kids to value commitment, understand sacrifice and compromise, and understand that real male-female relationships are nothing like TV or the movies make then out to be.

It’s not impossible to instill these values, but it is a much greater challenge when the parents can’t model that relationship. So, for gay parents, the costs are higher, and the challengers are greater. Which will bring us to the third part of this essay: Why do we do it?

- V the K and Michigan-Matt

Gay Parenting: Part One – Adoption

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 8:02 am - June 30, 2006.
Filed under: Gay Adoption,Gay America

(GP Editor’s note:  This is the first of a three part series on Gay Adoption & Parenting by frequent GP commenters “V The K” and “Michigan Matt.”) 

Maybe you saw Glenn Reynolds’s article on TCS from about a month ago, which was subsequently reprinted on OpinionJournal (The Parent Trap: How safety fanatics help drive down birthrates). Reynolds’ thesis is that having children in our litigious society carries too much risk, too much cost, and not enough benefit.

“(P)arenting has become more expensive in non-financial as well as financial terms. It takes up more time and emotional energy than it used to, and there’s less reward in terms of social approbation. This is like a big social tax on parenting and, as we all know, when things are taxed we get less of them. Yes, people still have children, and some people even have big families. But at the margin, which is where change occurs, people are less likely to do things as they grow more expensive and less rewarded. “

Over the last century, social mores have shifted. In the past, raising families was not just encouraged, but expected. In the present era, especially among secularized elites, the predominant social pressure is against having children, or even marrying at all. Many married couples eschew parenthood. In stark contrast, gay and lesbian couples and singles are incurring even greated economic, social, and emotional costs to build families, sometimes in the face of powerful opposition.

Michigan-Matt and his partner completed the adoption of their son after an expenditure of tens of thousands of dollars, and after gut-wrenching disappointments. Their first attempt at adoption failed when the unwed birthparents opted to cancel after their son had already lived with Michigan-Matt and his partner for 17 weeks.

“There was no warning. No notice; the decision was entirely theirs and the grandparents –who we later heard, despite what they said earlier, opposed ‘giving up their first grandkid to some fruits’. They went into court, the judge granted them custody and it was over,” Michigan-Matt recalls. “It took us three years to get over that deep pain, ultimate failure of trust, and the violation we felt at the reversal.”

The second adoption attempt was successful. Michigan-Matt and partner were even allowed in the delivery room and received their newborn son into their arms from the womb. Michigan-Matt says, “It doesn’t get any better than that. Talk about bonding! The birthmom said she heard about us through the social worker and wanted to help us heal.”

Their next child will be provided by a surrogate mother. They’ve carefully picked the birthmom, hired her to carry their son or daughter to term. The impregnation has occurred and the due date is Nov 11th, Michigan-Matt’s birthday. So far, everything is going well.

Their 3 year old son is looking forward to the first of “ten or fiftwennie brothers and sisters.” Michigan-Matt still isn’t sure what number translates into “fiftwennie” but is interested in continuing to grow as a family. (Take that Reynolds!) The estimated cost of this adoption: $71,000-97,000.

Four years ago, V the K, set out to adopt his foster son in South Carolina. The county adoption agency threw every imaginable hurdle in front of him. To cite the worst example, the county’s Guardian ad Litem (GAL) office replaced the original GAL assigned his case with a notoriously homophobic South Carolina state senator; a man who in every legisilative session has tried to push bills outlawing gay adoption and foster parenting, who, strangely enough, had no prior experience as a GAL.

The GAL is responsible for making recommendations regarding the child’s adoptive placement. Before long, this senator and the head of the county GAL office were pulling VtK’s foster son out of school two and three times a week for “interviews,” during which they pressured him to make abuse allegations. The senator also tried to bribe another family to adopt the boy, and threatened them with obstructing another adoption they were pursuing when they refused to go along.

When he filed his report to the adoption office, it was filled with misinformation and made allegations of neglect. (Whereas all the reports filed by the GAL he replaced had been outstanding.) It is VtK’s belief that this jackass politician was trying to drum up an abuse incident so he could stoke public outrage and get his anti-gay adoption bill passed.

The county adoption agency fought the adoption even up to the final hearing, and insisted on a lot more requirements than a married couple would have gone through. Eventually, with enough lawyering, determination, and faith, VtK and his adoptive son prevailed. VtK has since adopted another son (relatively smoothly) and intends, God-willing, to adopt again.

A case could be made that subjecting gay couples and single parents to more scrutiny than traditional married couples is legitimate. After all, as we’ll discuss in the next essay, parenting outside the traditional nuclear family carries its own unique challenges. But the point is, we go through a lot more than most married couple do just to have children.

- V The K and Michigan-Matt