Friday, January 25, 2008
Utah State Representative Rebecca Chavez-Houck Promoting Gay Adoption Via Utah HB318
The Deseret Morning News reports on January 25th, 2008 that House District 24 Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck (D-Salt Lake, pictured at left), is sponsoring HB318, which would remove a 2000 ban on adoption by all unmarried cohabitating couples, gay and straight. It would leave in place the current preference for married couples. Currently, only married couples and singles can adopt or be foster parents in Utah. The bill will likely face an uphill battle in a state where voters have approved a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and other domestic unions.
Mike Thompson, executive director of Equality Utah, said that adoption and foster care don't violate the marriage amendment because they don't comprise "substantial amount" of marriage rights. There are an estimated 1,226 children being raised by same-sex couples in Utah, according to a recent report by the Williams Institute at the University of California Los Angeles. Thompson claims that the state is not trying to create a back door for recognition, since the families concerned are already in existence.
But Monte Stewart, president of the Marriage Law Foundation, said HB318 would give recognition to gay and straight unmarried couples, even though it doesn't technically violate the marriage amendment. "That proposed bill is contrary to a fundamental public policy in this state which is that the only legally sanctioned, officially sanctioned, approved sexually based relationship will be married man/woman," Stewart said.
But Rep. Chavez-Houck said the bill is both common sense and in the children's best interest. "We say the well-being of children should come first, and that means finding the best home available," she said. "The proposal doesn't detract, but in fact endorses, a home environment with a married mother and father as the first choice. But more and more that option is not available, whether through divorce or other circumstance."
Current law prevents a parent from sharing rights with another cohabiting adult. A single parent can designate someone else for a single-parent adoption — even if the person is a romantic partner — as long as that person doesn't live under the same roof.
A spokesperson for House leadership said Wednesday night that they will reserve comment for now and will let the proposal "work its way through the process." Rep. Chavez-Houck, by the way, was selected by the Utah Democratic Party to replace Ralph Becker in his House seat when Becker was elected mayor of Salt Lake City.
Commentary: The gay rights lobby is slyly attempting to sneak the homosexual adoption agenda in under the protective covers of "equality" and "cohabitation", They attempt to allay our concerns by temporarily conceding a preference for heterosexual married couples. But this is how they've chipped away at the traditional family definition for years - line upon line, precept upon precept.
They also presume that there's no difference between straight parents and gay parents. However, in 2005, when the Spanish legislature was debating gay adoptions, LifeSite News reported that HazteOir, together with the Spanish Forum for the Family and the Institute for Family Policy, published and distributed an in-depth report on the effects that being raised by same-sex parents has on a child. The report, entitled “Report on Infantile Development in Same-Sex Couples” (available only in Spanish), gathers and compares information from a vast number of studies carried out on the issue. The information is intended to demonstrate that homosexual parentage is harmful for children.
The president of HazteOir stated, in light of the findings of the report: “In no way can a couple of persons of the same sex be judged suitable for adopting a child. Considering the findings of this vast bibliography we are obliged to protect the minor and say that same-sex couples must not be allowed to adopt children.”
The report contests that the majority of the studies carried out which have concluded in favour of same-sex parenthood betray an egregious lack of scientific rigour. Most of the studies show a strong bias to one side. To prove this, the report analyzes the nature of the individuals who have been responsible for the various studies carried out thus far, demonstrating that the vast majority are either homosexuals themselves, or active in the gay-rights movement. Into this category fall all six of the six most prominent psychologists of the American Psychological Association, which, unsurprisingly is one of the organizations most strongly and vocally in favour of homosexual adoption.
In compiling and comparing the available data from these studies, as well as more objective studies, the team of first-class psychologists and sociologists which penned the HazteOir report have noted prominent and disturbing trends. Among children raised by same-sex couples, the report notes a significant increase in low self-esteem, stress, confusion regarding sexual identity, an increase in mental illness, drug use, promiscuity, STD’s, and homosexual behaviour, amongst others. Furthermore, the report shows that statistics have brought to light the fact that same-sex relationships betray a much higher instance of separation and break-up than heterosexual relationships, increasing the likelihood that the child will experience familial instability. The Spanish Association of Pediatrics firmly backs up the findings of the report, stating that a “family nucleus with two fathers or two mothers is clearly dangerous for the child”.
In 2005, a Canadian woman spoke out against her upbringing in a same-sex household, claiming that the promiscuous lifestyle of her gay dads increased exposure to STDs. In addition, the recent revelation that gay men are much more susceptible to drug resistant MRSA "gay" flesh-eating bacteria because of their propensity for anal intercourse should provoke additional caution. This strain is so virulent that a gay dad could spread it to his kid merely by touch.
Hopefully, the Utah State House will thoroughly examine all sources of information before voting on this bill.