I set out to write this article about how the legislation in Florida banning homosexuals from adopting children was good, and that the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the appeal of the law was an excellent step in the right direction. I was going to cite statistics about how children with a mother and a father have a much higher rate of success based on whatever standards of success the people who get these statistics make up. I was probably going to sound like a complete homophobe who was using his space in the opinion section of the New University to ‘gay bash.’
I talked with my friend about my plans for this article after I submitted my request to have the topic. I debated with him and tossed out some of the arguments I was going to make. I was right, I sounded homophobic. The fact is that there were 8,000 children awaiting adoption in 2002 and, at the same time, 126,000 children nationwide, and that number is probably going to be higher during the next survey. We have a serious problem with adoption in this country.
Who am I to tell caring people that they shouldn’t be allowed to raise children? A recent Associated Press poll shows that 55 percent of Americans have no problems with homosexuals adopting children. Forty-seven states in our union don’t have a problem with it and of those 47, six expressly state that it is OK to have homosexual parents.
Conservatives, a group in which I include myself, generally seem to have a problem with furthering the rights of gay people. We are usually portrayed as the people who hate homosexuals with a passion because it is an ‘unholy’ act to lie with a person of the same sex. Forgive me if I seem frustrated with my party. I am a strong supporter of Bush and of the Republican Party in general. At the 2004 Republican National Convention, the governor of of California got behind the podium and talked about the Republican Party being a party that doesn’t discriminate against anybody. He spoke about how there are pro-choice Republicans and pro-public school Republicans, but it seems as though the general population doesn’t believe that the Republican Party is this inclusive.
America has committed many injustices during its history. It has allowed slavery to take place and allowed for Japanese people to be placed in internment camps during World War II. But in these cases, the American government eventually saw the problem with what it was allowing, and stopped it.
The fact that gay men in Florida are allowed to be foster parents, yet not allowed to officially adopt a child, is wrong. The fact that 8,000 children go unadopted because of a biased system is wrong. The truth is that because the Supreme Court decided not to hear the appeal, many other states may try to pass legislation taking away the right of these people to raise children.
It is a known fact that children raised by a mother and a father are more successful, but it’s also a fact that children who spend their entire lives in the foster care program do extraordinarily worse than children placed in any situation, including one-parent homes. Loving parents are loving parents, regardless of race, religion or almost any other cultural phenomena that people discriminate against. Why are the views of a minority running the policies of these three states? Why can’t children who are not wanted by straight parents, for whatever reason, become adopted by homosexual parents?
This topic is a very controversial one. Homosexual rights as a more specific topic divides the country. Currently, 52 percent of the nation is against homosexuality at a fundamental level. That margin is much tighter than that of President Bush’s victory in the November election.
You don’t have to support homosexuality to support homosexuals getting the right to adopt children. You must only support a child’s right to grow up in a loving family.
Alex Chazen is a first-year political science major.