Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Arkansas bill banning gay foster parents dies in committee.

Thank God. Gov. Mike Beebe thinks it's bad for foster kids to be adopted by gay parents because it could "stigmatize" them.

That statement is so stupid that I can't even begin to refute it. So I won't. And I bet if challenged, Mr. Beebe probably wouldn't be able to make a very good case for backing it up, either.

This, however, is probably my favorite exchange:
Walt McKay of Mountain Home, a licensed counselor, testified children, especially those who have been put up for adoption or removed from their home, need a stable environment.

"Statistically, homosexuals and heterosexuals who aren't married are not able to provide it," he said.

Rep. Kathy Webb, D-Little Rock, asked McKay if he was aware of research by organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychiatric Association which suggests the development, adjustment and well-being of children with homosexual parents does not differ greatly from that of children with heterosexual parents.

"It's really difficult to find an unbiased opinion on either side," McKay said.

Yeah, good response.

Dan Savage explains that banning gay and lesbian foster parents would cost the U.S foster care system $130 million a year!

America is far too capitalistic for my taste, but I will say, it's interesting how the struggle for gay equality in this country often comes down to economics. The gays have become such a powerful force in the economy that we can no longer be ignored.

Like, for instance, the Iowa Senate adding same-sex orientation to its list of illegal discriminations. It was largely a matter of economics.

Backers of the bill, mostly Democrats, pushed it to passage on a 32-17 vote. They portrayed the legislation as a needed strike against discrimination that would also make the state more economically attractive.

"It is difficult to convince a talented young person to come to Iowa or stay in Iowa when they can be discriminated against simply because of who they are," Gronstal said. He said several of Iowa's top companies, including Principal Financial Group, Wells Fargo and Pioneer Hi-Bred International, already shield homosexuals from workplace discrimination.

That's something, I think, more and more states are waking up to. Virginia and Michigan, the two states in America that currently have the most, and harshest, anti-gay bills on the books, will probably realize this sooner or later as well. Whether or not they'll admit it is another matter.

But hey, whatever it takes.

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