Saturday, July 01, 2006

How I Know Arkansas Legislators Don't Read

Perhaps you saw that the Arkansas Supreme Court upheld lower court rulings that found it illegal to disallow qualified gay people to serve as foster parents. It was a sweeping and unanimous decision certain to fan the impeaching flames of the anti-independent judiciary crowd. Based on the overwhelming scientific evidence, which opponents of gay parents choose to ignore, the Arkansas Supreme Court had the following to say (From Pageoneq):

Children of lesbian and gay parents are just as well-adjusted as children of heterosexual parents; Being raised by gay parents doesn’t increase the risk of psychological, behavioral, academic, gender identity, or any other sort of adjustment problems; Being raised by gay parents doesn’t prevent children from forming healthy relationships with their peers and others; There is no factual basis for saying that gay parents might be less able to guide their children through adolescence than heterosexual parents; There is no evidence that gay people, as a group, are more likely to engage in domestic violence or sexual abuse than heterosexual people; The exclusion of gay people and people with gay family members may be harmful to children because it excludes a pool of effective foster parents...

The Court went on to say that the state’s argument to the contrary “flies in the face” of the scientific evidence about the suitability of lesbian and gay people as foster parents. The Court added that “the driving force behind adoption of the regulation was not to promote the health, safety, and welfare of foster children, but rather based upon the Board’s view of morality and its bias against homosexuals."

The unanimous supreme court ruling included the decision of:

A special justice appointed to the case by Gov. Mike Huckabee, Frank Poff of Texarkana...[Poff] also questioned the state’s legal arguments. He was substituting for Justice Tom Glaze, who recused from the case. [He remarked that]

“You have no evidence to support that gay foster parents are bad for children,” Poff told Hall. “You’re standing here saying we can’t take a chance.”

It also was noted that a ban on gay foster parents was imposed even though there is NO history of problems with gay foster parents in the past.

Even with a Huckabee-appointed judge deciding that evidence reveals gay people are as qualified as straight folks to be foster parents, the "activist judges" chorus still tuned up for a concert. And who's that leading the choir? Bill-Frist -wannabe, Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

"I'm very disappointed that the court seems more interested in what's good for gay couples than what's good for children needing foster care," Huckabee said through his spokeswoman Alice Stewart.
Dude, stop obssessing over your figure, your ignored covenant marriage initiative, and your certain to fail presidential bid long enough to read the ruling that some of your own people spent time and state tax dollars to write.

And perhaps the most painful response comes from a Democrat and fellow citizen of Batesville:

Sen. Jack Critcher, D-Batesville, the Senate pro temporedesignate for the 2007 legislative session, and Rep. Benny Petrus, D-Stuttgart, the speaker of the House-designate for the session, said they were willing to consider a legislative response to the ruling.

Critcher said lawmakers support the policy of limiting foster care to married couples.

“Understanding that, I would think that there’s probably substantial support in the Legislature for a law that would authorize [the Department of Health and Human Services ] to enact the policy they had in place,” Critcher said.

Way to do your research Critcher. Why bother reading the court ruling? Who needs to know what even a Huckabee-appointed judge found in peer-reviewed, scientific studies about gay parents? And who cares that there are not enough married heterosexual foster homes to care for these kids whose ideal upbringing you pretend to care so much about? And by the way, if there is anything that irritates me more than an "anything to win a race" Republican, it is an "I'm too afraid of losing my seat to have a backbone" Democrat.

A brighter side to this? There is one. The large number of studies that shaped the Supreme Court's decision are solid and convincing. Even if a self-serving or willingly ignorant legislator ignores them, every time this subject is debated, the data is broadcast to a broader audience. You can read it for yourself by ordering a copy (free) of Too High a Price: The Case Against Restricting Gay Parenting. Just Google the book title. I tried to link to the book order page, but blogger wouldn't let me. Not sure why.

In any case, don't assume that your legislator will read the studies for you. These days they don't have to be intelligent or fair to be reelected, merely willing to pander to ignorance and fear.


Blogger konagod said...

Nice comment over at Pam's Re: Huckabee!

9:23 AM  

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