Monday, August 25, 2008

We defend family values!*

Voters in Arkansas will get to decide this fall whether to pass a measure that would prohibit unmarried couples who live together from fostering or adopting children. The Arkansas Family Council Action Committee thinks Arkansas "needs to affirm the importance of married mothers and fathers." Let's be honest: the measure is really aimed at preventing gay and lesbian couples from adopting children, and if a few straight-but-living-in-sin couples are kept from infecting the next generation, then all the better.

So these people want to pass a state law to define what a family should look like. There are so many kids languishing in foster care, ready for adoption. Kids who aren't perfectly healthy newborns, but who desperately want someone to belong to. And there are good, kind, loving adults who have the means and the desire to open their hearts and homes to those children in need of care. Why on earth would anyone want to stop them? What the hell kind of family values is that?

What a twisted way to look at the world: It is better for kids to have no permanent home than to share a home with two loving adults who happen to be of the same sex (or are of opposite sexes but don't have a piece of paper from the state). What kind of heartless idealogue can deny these kids the opportunity to have real homes, with rooms of their own, and parents who can't wait to hear all about their day at school? I can't imagine looking at the gays and lesbians I am friends with and thinking, "Man, these people are so morally corrupt that any kid would be better off in an overcrowded foster home until reaching 18 when s/he will be sent off on her/his own than being subjected to them."

I continue to be repulsed by the lengths these damn anti-gay folks will go to to impose their view on what a family ought to look like. Love is so much more expansive and has so many more possibilities than they can fathom. The state really shouldn't be in the business of limiting it. Nor should the state prevent its neediest citizens from knowing the safety of unconditional parental love. If the state of Arkansas chooses to define what an acceptable family is in such a way that keeps hundreds or thousands of children in foster care limbo, that would be tragic. And I just couldn't accept that it was done in furtherance of "family values."

*as long as the family has a Dad married to a stay-at-home Mom, 2.3 kids, a minivan, and a dog.

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