Gay adoption next big hurdle says US media analysts

Danny McCoy | February 24, 2006

WASHINGTON D.C. — Media analysts are predicting that the issue of gay adoption is the next big hurdle for the LGBT community as efforts to ban gays and lesbians from adopting children are emerging across the country.

At least 15 states are moving to pass laws or secure November ballot initiatives that would take into consideration the issue of gay adoption, according to a recent article in USA Today. Some of those states, including Ohio, Georgia and Kentucky, approved constitutional amendments in 2004 banning gay marriage.

�Now that we've defined what marriage is, we need to take that further and say children deserve to be in that relationship,� says Greg Quinlan of Ohio's Pro-Family Network, a conservative Christian group.

In Florida, gays and lesbians have been banned from adopting since 1977, although they can be foster parents. Court challenges and a campaign by entertainer Rosie O'Donnell to overturn the law have failed. A pending bill would allow state judges to grant exceptions.

Mississippi bans adoption by gay couples, but gay and lesbian singles can adopt. Utah bans all unmarried couples, regardless of sexual orientation, from adoption.

Bills to restrict gay adoption are in the works in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Indiana, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia. Five of those states also are discussing ballot initiatives.

In Massachusetts, Roman Catholic bishops are asking for an exemption from state anti-discrimination laws to allow the church to ban gays and lesbians from adopting through its social service agencies.

Meanwhile, a judge in Missouri ruled last week that it was unconstitutional for the state to deny a foster care license to a lesbian couple on the basis of sexual preference.

Patrick Guerriero, president of Log Cabin Republicans, a gay political group that opposes limiting marriage and adoption to heterosexuals, calls the strategy to ban gay adoption the next step by conservatives.

�The game plan was first to go to states where it was easy to pass anti-marriage amendments and then launch a second round of attacks on gay adoption,� he said. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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