Monday, November 26, 2012

Michigan bill could harm potential same-sex families

It looks like potential same-sex families may have a serious upcoming problem due to the Michigan legislature. According to Equality Michigan:

Extremists in the Michigan House of Representatives have scheduled a hearing on November 27th for a bill in the House Committee on Families, Children, and Seniors, which would allow adoption agencies the ability to deny an adoption placement based on that agency's moral or religious beliefs. However, the bill acknowledges that denying a couple based on religious or moral convictions does not imply "that the proposed adoption is not in the best interests of the adoptee."

Additionally, the bill protects public funding for agencies choosing to discriminate. Giving any government-funded agency a license to discriminate is immoral and unethical. With 14,000 children in Michigan seeking a safe home to prosper in, our focus should be on cultivating stable environments to raise these children, and not turning away capable and willing families eager to love and support a child in need. The strength of one's convictions alone is not justification in and of itself for any action - it is a despicable excuse for damaging another human being. The fact that the proposed bill specifically states that this biased filter does not imply the couple are unfit to adopt shows this is merely providing a license to discriminate based on an unlimited array of arbitrary criteria and not actually an attempt to protect children.

The primary sponsor, Representative Kenneth Kurtz (R-Coldwater), is wasting our money on a bill which does nothing to help the 14,000 children residing in foster care in Michigan. Rather than addressing that actual problem, they are fabricating a new one by offering this vile solution. 

As far as I know right now, this is purely a legislative move, rather than one finagled by religious right groups. However, one wonders as this situation gains attention, just how many so-called pro-family groups will come sniffing.

The bill itself is ridiculous but any inclusion of religious right groups would make it worse because it would be yet another attack on gay families thus revealing yet again the contradiction behind the mindsets of these groups who attack the gay community.

Allow me to explain - some  believe that based upon religious grounds, homosexuality is a sin and should be not looked at positively, but instead should be shied away or stamped out in all forms. This includes pro-gay laws, actions which would protect our lgbt children from bullying, and anything that would advance same-sex families.

The problem with this idea is that when they do this, these folks (whether they be by themselves or formed in groups) who have a religious belief against homosexuality are acting as the aggressors because they are demanding that their personal beliefs be codified in law, regardless of the fact that there are millions who do not believe as they do.

And many of these religious folks recognize this, so what do they do?  They create a false medicinal belief that homosexuality is a "dangerous lifestyle." Based on upon lies, junk science, and legitimate science that are in some cases deliberately cherry-picked, they have created a body of medicinal quackery that compares to the belief that lobotomies are healthy.

Lastly, when they can't turn to this, they create false media panics, such as this one  - i.e. adoption agencies should not be "forced" to violate their own personally held beliefs, even if this means they are allowed to discriminate against same-sex households even if said households pose no danger to children and that there are many children waiting to be placed in good homes.

This is the grand contradiction of the religious right when it comes to homosexuality - in order to hold what they feel God's commandment against homosexuality, they willingly break His commandment against lies, deception, and bearing false witness.

It makes as much sense as tossing a pocketful of dollar bills up into the air and expecting more than you tossed in the air to land magically in your hand.

We should all keep our eyes on Michigan. It may be a bellwether for future actions against gay families.

Bookmark and Share

1 comment:

Woodstock said...

What they fail to realize is this could not only be used to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples adopting, but a Catholic agency could refuse to allow a heterosexual Muslim couple to adopt, or a Jewish agency could refuse to allow a Christian couple to adopt because their beliefs don't agree. How is this about "religious freedom"? It's about discrimination against people who don't agree with your worldview. Period.