Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Alabama Set to Frustrate Adoptions by Gay Couples

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has on her desk House Bill 24, also known as the Alabama Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act. If she signs it into law it would permit adoption agencies to discriminate against gay couples based on their religious beliefs. It is important to understand that adoption agencies are doing the work of the state. In effect HB-24 allows the state to discriminate against gay couples.

Alabama Rep. Rich Wingo, a former professional football player and one of the two sponsors of the bill, has claimed that HB 24 is intended to protect “religious freedom” and does not target the gay community. We will need to examine the construction of Wingo's helmet from his NFL days.

Rich Wingo
Rep Rich Wingo
Mr. Wingo also needs to re-take high school civics. The Constitution guarantees “Free Exercise” which does not extend a right to engage in discrimination. The Constitution guarantees gay couples the right to marry and that does extend to their rights to adopt children on a basus equal to all other citizens.

In February, Wingo told the Alabama Media Group:
This bill is not about prohibiting gay and lesbian couples from adopting or fostering a child. It’s about protecting and not discriminating against faith-based agencies that, due to their religious beliefs, could have their right to choose where to place a child taken away from them.
Wingo is assigning a right to adoption agencies that they do not have as contractors for the state. Suppose they do not think that Jews are good parents. Is that okay as well? Interracial couples? Atheists? Not discriminating does not affect anyone's free exercise of religion. Once again, this is about the right to disapprove of gay people.

This is also about the Catholic Church and Catholic Charities' adoptions services. In spite of substantial evidence to the contrary, then Cardinal Ratzinger (as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and future Pope Benedict) claimed that placing children with gay couples “does violence” to those children. It was moronic then (2003) and it is moronic now. Ratzinger has no training in social science. He is a theologian. Nevertheless, his treatise establishes the teachings of the Church. Why must the state enable such ignorance?

And what about the children? Suppose that a gay couple is the best choice for a child based upon objective criteria? Should a child be denied the best available parents because of the arbitrary beliefs of an adoption agency?

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