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Utah Supreme Court Issues Stay On Adoptions By Gay Couples

The temporary stop to gay adoptions was issued by the court on Friday. The AP reports:

Dt.common.streams.StreamServer.clsThe Utah Supreme Court has ordered a temporary halt of several district judges' orders requiring the Utah Department of Health to issue birth certificates in same-sex parent adoptions.

The stay was granted Friday night in response to a Utah Attorney General's Office request for clarity on whether the department can issue the birth certificates if directed by court order.

The attorney general's office praised the decision, saying the stay will remain in effect until the issue has been resolved by the court. The court has not yet announced a date for oral arguments.

The stay was issued a day after the Attorney General's office was ordered to appear in court for their refusal to issue birth certificates to adopted children with same-sex parents. According to the Salt Lake Tribute:

A state court judge this week ordered that the Utah Attorney General’s Office and several government agencies appear in court on June 16 to explain why they have refused to honor these adoptions.

If they refuse, or provide an inadequate response, Attorney General Sean Reyes, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Health, W. David Patton, and the State Registrar of the Office of Vital Records, Janice Houston, may be held in contempt of court — a crime punishable by incarceration, a fine or both.

"[These officials] must appear and show cause why they should not be held in contempt for their willful disregard and refusal to obey the Decree of Step-Parent Adoption," wrote 3rd District Judge Andrew Stone.

The AG's office issued a statement in response to the stay. It reads in part:

"The stay prevents further confusion as the district court order required the (health) department to list same-sex parents as the legal parents of an adoptive child. The department sought clarification because the court orders appear to conflict with Utah law currently in effect, which prohibits the state and any state entities from recognizing same-sex marriages."

 


Iowa Adoptive Lesbian Couple Heartbroken After Baby Dies In Neglectful Care of Teen Father

Baby

An Ankeny, Iowa lesbian couple are heartbroken after the death of the 4-month-old child that they had hoped to adopt.

After taking him home from the hospital, Heidi McFarland and her partner Rachel were forced to return 4-month Gabriel to his birth mother a few days before signing the final adoption papers. Gabriel's 16-year-old biological mother left the child with his 17-year-old father Drew James Wheeler-Smith at 7:30 PM to go and run some errands.

When she returned at 8:20 PM, the father was gone and the baby was dead, still sitting in his glider chair with white foam around his mouth.

The father has been arrested and will be charged after the child’s autopsy is complete. The McFarland family released a statement that read:

“It took about 30 seconds to fall in love with him. Heidi and Rachel were the perfect parents and any love, happiness and security that Gabe had in his short life was given by them. They would have treasured him forever.”


Ralph Reed and Franklin Graham Demonize Gay Families on Easter Edition of 'This Week': VIDEO

Reed

Franklin Graham and Ralph Reed brought their anti-gay hate to ABC's This Week today, in a discussion about gay adoption and gay parenting, introduced by focusing on Russia's draconian adoption laws.

Said Reed: “The social science on this is clear. This isn’t about Vladimir Putin, this is about what’s best for children here in the United States. The social science is irrefutable: a child who grows up in a home without the mother and father present, and they both very unique procreative, nurturing, and socializing roles, they’re nine times more likely to end up dropping out of high school; they’re five times more likely to end up in poverty; and they’re three times more likely to end up addicted to drugs and alcohol.”

Said Cokie Roberts: “But the social science is also irrefutable that a child raised in an orphanage is in much worse shape than a child raised in a home. And the fact that people are willing to take these children and raise them, and raise them in a loving way, is clearly better for these children.”

Asked Martha Raddatz: “Would you agree with that? Would you rather have a child sitting in an orphanage than have gay parents?

Said Reed: “I think the social science is just simply not in yet on same-sex couples. I think the law has every right to set an ideal. And the ideal is a mother and a father.”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via jmg)

Continue reading "Ralph Reed and Franklin Graham Demonize Gay Families on Easter Edition of 'This Week': VIDEO" »


Utah Moves To Block Gay Adoptions: VIDEO

Utah

While the fate of gay marriage in Utah remains unclear, so too does the status of adoptions of children by gay couples granted following Judge Robert J. Shelby’s decision back in December that struck down the Beehive State's ban on same-sex marriage. As Fox 13 News in Salt Lake City reports, the Utah Attorney General’s office has filed emergency petitions this week with the state Supreme Court, “asking the court to deny orders from judges who have already approved the adoptions”:

In one petition, the state argued that 3rd District Court Judge Elizabeth A. Hruby-Mills’ decision “authorizes the department to violate the plain text of the Utah Constitution and Utah law prohibiting recognition of same-sex marriage…”

They went on to say, “The trial court abused its discretion.”

DocsIn its arguments before the 10th circuit, Gene Schaer, the attorney representing the state of Utah, reiterated the argument made by the state in its brief filed for the court, that to confer marriage rights to same sex couples would be to change “the primary role of marriage from being child-centric to adult-centric.” The state’s brief against same-sex marriage suggested that to allow same-sex couples to marry in Utah would irreparably harm the state’s tradition of marriage (a sterling one, to be sure). 

Despite the hurdles, couples have been persistent in trying to ensure the state recognizes their adoption as legal and valid. Kimberly and Amber Leary were one of the first couples to marry when the ruling came down in December from Judge Shelby. After saying ‘I do,’ the Learys filed for second parent adoption like many other gay couples in the state. As Amber is the biological mother, only she is currently recognized as a legal parent of their daughter born in 2012. However, they’ve been fighting to change that. From Fox 13:

“This entire process has been celebration one day, crying the next, celebration one day, crying the next,” Kimberly Leary said.

Sitting in a waiting room at the Department of Health, she and her wife Amber Leary feel right at home.

“We’ve been here an hour...We’re going to get the birth certificate with both of our names on it,” Amber said. “That’s it, a piece of paper with both of our names on it saying that we’re her legal parents.” […]

Laura Gray, who represents the couple in Hruby-Mills’ case, spoke about the issue.

“They claim that they want to protect Utah’s children, but they are intentionally harming these children by injecting themselves into these cases,” Gray said. “We don’t understand why the Attorney General has to take this extraordinary step of now trying to undo completed adoptions.” [...]

“You just keep fighting, mostly for our child that she sees that, hey, we’re doing the right thing. We’re fighting for you; we’re fighting for us, for her constitutional rights,” said the Learys. 

Watch FOX13's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Utah Moves To Block Gay Adoptions: VIDEO" »


Michigan Gay Marriage Ban Trial Wraps Up as Witness Says Unrepentant Homosexuals are Going to Hell

Lmc

The last witness to testify for the state of Michigan in the nine-day trial challenging the state's ban on gay marriage and gay adoption left the courtroom with what the Detroit Free Press calls "explosive" testimony:

AllenHis views emerged following a question from plaintiffs attorney Ken Mogill, who is fighting to overturn Michigan’s ban on gay marriage.

“Is it accurate that you believe the consequence of engaging in homosexual acts is a separation from God and eternal damnation?” Mogill asked the state’s expert, then added, “in other words, they’re going to hell?”

“Without repentance, yes,” answered the expert, Canadian economist Douglas Allen, the last witness to testify on behalf of the state in a trial that could make Michigan the 18th state to legalize gay marriage.

Allen, an economist who has researched 60 same-sex parenting studies during a 15-year period, said that he believes Michigan should uphold its ban on gay marriage. He argued that science is a long way from determining whether that family structure is good or bad for kids, and that messing with public policy would be premature.

Michigan's AG claimed that Allen's religious beliefs won't hurt his testimony.

A decision from Judge Bernard Friedman won't come Friday, according to the AP, but it shouldn't be long.


As Mark Regnerus Takes Stand in MI Gay Marriage Case, U-Texas Calls His Study 'Fundamentally Flawed'

Mark Regnerus, the UT researcher, whose rightwing-funded, biased parenting studies have been thoroughly discredited and debunked, took the stand yesterday for the defendants in the trial challenging Michigan's ban on gay marriage and gay adoption.

The AP reports: Regnerus

“We aren’t anywhere near saying there’s conclusive evidence” that children with same-sex parents grow up with no differences when compared to kids with heterosexual parents, he said.

“Until we get more evidence, we should be skeptical. … It’s prudent for the state to retain its definition of marriage to one man, one woman,” said Regnerus, who believes that’s the best scenario for kids.

He’ll be cross-examined Tuesday.

But even as he took the stand, the Sociology Department at the University of Texas, where Regnerus is employed, blasted his work as "fundamentally flawed" and distanced themselves from Regnerus' toxic views, issuing this statement:

Like all faculty, Dr. Regnerus has the right to pursue his areas of research and express his point of view.  However, Dr. Regnerus’ opinions are his own. They do not reflect the views of the Sociology Department of The University of Texas at Austin.  Nor do they reflect the views of the American Sociological Association, which takes the position that the conclusions he draws from his study of gay parenting are fundamentally flawed on conceptual and methodological grounds and that findings from Dr. Regnerus’ work have been cited inappropriately in efforts to diminish the civil rights and legitimacy of LBGTQ partners and their families.  We encourage society as a whole to evaluate his claims.
 
The Sociology Department at The University of Texas at Austin aspires to achieve academic excellence in research, teaching, and public service at the highest level in our discipline. We strive to do so in a context that is based on the highest ethical standards of our discipline and in a context that actively promotes and supports diversity among our faculty and student populations.
 
The Sociology Department resides in the College of Liberal Arts, which has issued a statement regarding Dr. Regnerus.
 
The Sociology Department has no affiliation with the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture.

Defendants' testimony in the Michigan trial had a rough start already yesterday after a judge barred the state's first witness from the stand, saying Sherif Girgis had nothing to offer:

“He’s very eloquent … but right now, all he is offering to us is mainly his opinions,” U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman said of the witness. “The court does not believe ... that he should be allowed to testify.”


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