John McCain Opposes Happy Homes For Thousands Of Parentless Children

John McCain, an adoptive father himself, wrapped hypocrisy, intolerance and a remarkable lack of compassion all into one when he revealed in an interview that appeared in Sunday's New York Times that he opposes gay adoption:

Mr. McCain, who with his wife, Cindy, has an adopted daughter, said flatly that he opposed allowing gay couples to adopt. "I think that we've proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no, I don't believe in gay adoption," he said.

More from The AP:

McCain then remarked that he and his wife, Cindy, were proud to be adoptive parents of a daughter born in Bangladesh, and he encouraged others to adopt. Asked if those adopting should be a "traditional couple," McCain answered, "Yes."

This really comes down to the definition of what a parent is and it's clear that for John McCain, one can only be a parent if one is married to someone of the opposite gender. So not only does this rule out gay couples, but it also rules out single people, whether straight or gay. Pretty interesting considering he didn't seem to have a problem with his ex-wife raising his kids as a single parent when he decided he was done with her.

McCain was still married and living with his wife in 1979 while, according to The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof, "aggressively courting a 25-year-old woman who was as beautiful as she was rich." McCain divorced his wife, who had raised their three children while he was imprisoned in Vietnam, then launched his political career with his new wife's family money. In 2000, McCain managed to deflect media questioning about his first marriage with a deft admission of responsibility for its failure.

What's perhaps more remarkable, though, is that he would withhold a loving home from a parentless child waiting desperately for a home. Since the remarks appeared in the Times on Sunday, McCain has been roundly criticized by gay and lesbian family advocates.

Again for The AP.

"He's completely out of touch," said Kara Suffredini, public policy director for the Family Equality Council. "There's no reason, except for the sake of red meat for his base, to throw up screens in the way of children in foster care getting homes."

Jody Huckaby, executive director of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, said McCain's comments were especially dismaying because more than 100,000 children are in foster care waiting to be adopted.

"Sen. McCain would deny loving homes to children who desperately need them simply because of an outdated prejudice about what a family may look like," Huckaby said.

And in perhaps the most cogent sign yet of just how far the gay and lesbian movement has come, the McCain campaign decided this criticism was worthy of one of his now patented clarifications.

"John McCain could have been clearer in the interview in stating that his position on gay adoption is that it is a state issue, just as he made it clear in the interview that marriage is a state issue,'' Tucker Bounds, a campaign spokesman, said in a statement."He was not endorsing any federal legislation.'' [...]

"Senator McCain's expressed his personal preference for children to be raised by a mother and a father wherever possible," Mr. Bounds said in the statement. But the statement added, "He recognizes that there are many abandoned children who have yet to find homes. John McCain believes that in those situations that caring parental figures are better for the child than the alternative."

Umm, okaay. I'm sorry, was whether he would change the law at the federal level even the issue or even what made his remarks offensive? Isn't it worse that he believes it in his heart rather than believes it should be policy? But I suppose that little condescending coda at the end is supposed to let him off the hook -- "well if a gay couple's all you got, I guess they can take the kid."

Seriously, this dude is pre-historic, but on the bright side one has to conclude that the very fact that this is an issue for McCain demonstrates that it likely won't be long before opposition to gay adoption will prove to be an untenable political position. Like the dinosaurs that they are, politicians with such outmoded views of family and equality are becoming extinct.

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Sweet Hypocrisy

Crossposted atIch Bin Ein OberlinerandBig Orange Satan.

Pointing out politicians' personal flaws and hypocrisies is too easy. Lazy, really. Petty, you might say. But, this recent statement by John McCain got a little under my skin. Here's the quote, from The New York Times (h/t Tristero and TP):

Q: President Bush believes that gay couples should not be permitted to adopt children. Do you agree with that?

Mr. McCain: I think that we've proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no I don't believe in gay adoption.

Q: Even if the alternative is the kid staying in an orphanage, or not having parents.

Mr. McCain: I encourage adoption and I encourage the opportunities for people to adopt children I encourage the process being less complicated so they can adopt as quickly as possible. And Cindy and I are proud of being adoptive parents.

Q: But your concern would be that the couple should a traditional couple --

Mr. McCain: Yes.

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Lifting Florida's Gay Adoption Ban

I recently wrote a piece concerning Florida Republican Governor-Elect Charlie Crist and the thirty year old ban here in Florida on gays and lesbians adopting children. I was proposing that Florida Democrats could score political points by forcing Crist to publicly choose the mean-spirited option of continuing the ban. Obviously, Mary Cheney's very public pregancy makes the issue of parenting by same-sex couples very topical.

But, since then I have been doing additional research and want to bring attention to the heroic long term efforts by Equality Florida to address this issue. More Below.

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New FL Guv To Promote Adoption: How About Lifting Gay Ban?

The newly elected Republican governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, who will replace Jeb Bush starting on January 2, has been acting like a stealth Democrat with his appointments to state leadership posts. Between that and Marco Rubio, the new dynamic, young speaker of the Florida House promoting "citizen participation" and "government accountability", you'd think our state had been taken over by a bunch of progressives.

We Democrats here in Florida need to realize that the good old days of ranting about Jeb and his clueless brother are gone.  If we are going to make any inroads in the 2008 election we need to start looking at policy issues and come up with some juicy wedge issues that will separate us from the Republicans.

Follow me over the fold for one possibility - repealing Florida's ban on gay adoption.

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