Romney Misses The Point On Adoption

Up in Massachusetts, there's an interesting debate going on about adoption and discrimination. At issue is whether or not religious groups involved in adoption services should be allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples who want to adopt. Catholic Charities of Boston has announced they will no longer provide adoption services rather than comply with state anti-discrimination laws that prohibit them from rejecting gay and lesbian couples interested in adopting. In response, Governor Mitt Romney, a 2008 contender, wants to exempt religious organizations from such laws. He's tried to play both sides of the issue, saying that even though he believes there is a "legitimate interest" on the part of gay couples in adoption, subjecting Catholic Charities to the law represents a "threat to religious freedom."

I take serious, serious issue with Romney's characterization of adoption. He views it not as a service of necessity to children who need solid families, but as a service of convenience to would-be parents. While he acknowledges that same-sex couples are likely to view his position as discriminatory, he points out that there are non-religious "agencies that can meet the needs of those gay couples." In this case, I understand what Romney's trying to say, but he clearly just does not get the issue. Sure, there are other adoption agencies besides Catholic Charities that gay couples can turn to.

The problem, however, is that this move threatens to shrink the pool of good parents available to children who desperately need them. Oddly enough, it seems the forty two members of the board of Catholic Charities agree with my assessment, voting unanimously in December to continue placing children with same-sex couples for adoption. When it was announced a few weeks ago that the organization was going to halt the practice anyway, seven prominent board members quit.

In covering the story of the board member resignations, The Boston Globe examined the thirteen cases of adoption by gay couples handled by Catholic Charities of Boston over a two-decade period. All of the children "were considered hard to place, either because they were older or because they had special needs." And that is the point here. In 2003, there were roughly 120,000 children in public foster care waiting to be adopted in the United States. Romney apparently doesn't get that this isn't about meeting the desires of couples, gay or straight. It's about meeting the needs of children who need strong families, gay or straight.

Tags: 2008, equality, Mitt Romney, states (all tags)

Comments

6 Comments

Re: Romney Misses The Point On Adoption

It seems that Catholic Charities was put in an awkward position, not by the Mass. law, but by the Mass Bishops who insisted that they break the law by refusing to place children with s-s couples.

So, just to recap:  In Boston, taking a child from a normal, well-adjusted home and leaving them prey to degenerate, deviant molestors is okay (in fact, it's something to be protected from legal encroachment); Taking a child from a broken home with no family and placing them with a loving couple who'll care for them, support them, and raise them is anathema sit.

And I write this as a "practicing" Catholic.

by Esquire 2006-03-14 10:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Romney Misses The Point On Adoption

Better add a few more thousand to that number now that Roe is under attack. And if same-sex couples won't be able to adopt, then you're cutting out people who actually WANT to take on the responsibility. So who's going to take care of all of these kids? WHO??? I've said it before, and I'll say it again: only when the foster care system in this country has been fixed will I even consider a pro-life argument. And that argument better come from people who have tried to contribute to the foster care solution by adopting hard to place kids. Until then, shut the F up.

by TallyInsider 2006-03-14 11:12AM | 0 recs
This is about discrimination,

Not about the poor orphaned babies.  I mean, really.

I don't know Massachusetts law, so there may be some weirdness with which I'm unfamiliar, but however religious Catholic Charities is, it obviously isn't so religious that it's exempt from antidiscrimination law.  It's a public accomodation, it's a private business, it's whatever-the-fuck the law calls an organization so that it cannot legally discriminate.

Which is why Mitt has to ask for it to be exempted specifically in this specific case.  Well, what next, Mitt?  Can they fire gay workers?  Can they deny benefits to their spouses?  Is it a "threat to religious freedom" if they can't?

And what if they wanted to fire black workers?  If the Pope decided that black skin was the mark of Cain, and demanded that Catholic Charities deny black couples the right to adopt, would a state law that forbade them from doing so be a "threat to religious freedom," too?

How far down that road is Mitt willing to go?

by Drew 2006-03-14 11:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Romney Misses The Point On Adoption

...glad to see the Roman Catholic Church in Massachusetts is doing God's work.

Do I dare say it...? Why not...

Apparently the Roman Catholic Church thinks allowing homosexuals to adopt is morally wrong.

...but allowing a priest to molest children? Well, that's different.

Maybe Romney should exempt them from molestation suits too while he's at it. I mean, if they're above the law and all...

And the Bishops, Cardinals, and Priests running the show wonder why Gen Xers have rejected Churchianity...

by T Dubya Ault 2006-03-14 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Romney Misses The Point On Adoption

Adoption is not the point here.  Religious organizations doing governmental work is the point here.  It is part of the ongoing theocratization of government.  That is the slippery slope we are sliding down.  I absolutely agree with Romney's assertion that the Catholic Church as a religious organization can not be made to advocate for same sex parental adoption.  That just makes it a slam dunk to prohibit ANY faith based organization from receiving government money for ANY reason.  Those folks do religion (albeit poorly) and the government should provide social services.

by Demo Dan in Dayton 2006-03-14 11:36AM | 0 recs
by Vast Left 2006-03-14 07:21PM | 0 recs

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