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Republicans Mike Enzi And Mike Kelly Introduce Anti-Gay Adoption Bill

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New legislation introduced last week aims to allow adoption and foster care providers to refuse service on the basis of the organization’s religious objections, reports Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

Introduced by Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA), bill S. 2706/H.R. 5285 would allow adoption or foster care providers to deny service to heterosexual couples of a different faith, single parents and LGBTI couples.

In a statement, Ellen Kahn, Director of the HRC Foundation’s Children, Youth, and Families Program, said:

“If this bill passes, an Evangelical straight couple, a single father, or a committed and loving gay and lesbian couple could find their path to adoption blocked for no reasonable reason other than naked discrimination.

"Taxpayer funds should not be used to discriminate, and too many children need loving families right now for our elected officials to be playing these kinds dangerous political games. This bill has nothing to do with faith, and it must be condemned.”

President Obama recently signed an executive order banning federally-funded organizations from discriminating against LGBTI people.

Last week, it was announced that Democratic House Representative Jared Polis is preparing to initiate a discharge petition for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a means of bringing a bill directly to the floor without consideration from committee or direct input from the House leadership.


Luxembourg Parliament Prepares To Vote On Gay Marriage

Luxembourg2Luxembourg, the small Grand Duchy that puts the “lux” in “Benelux”, is on track to legalize gay marriage by the end of 2014. Justice Minister Félix Braz announced earlier this year that the government would vote on a same-sex marriage bill this summer. The legal affairs committee in Luxembourg’s parliament Wednesday approved the proposed bill--n°6172A--which will now face a vote before all of parliament sometime “after the Pentecost holidays and before the summer”, the Luxemburger Wort reports: 

The bill, which also includes reforms on other aspects of family law, was first introduced at the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies in May 2012, and has taken over two years to pass to a vote in parliament.

Several changes were made along the way. Most importantly, same-sex couples were granted the right to both closed and open adoption. A previous version of the bill had foreseen that same-sex couples would only be allowed open adoption, in which birth parents retain access to information about their child.

The Luxembourg State Council, however, ruled that this was discriminatory and threatened to withhold approval should closed adoption not be made available to same-sex couples also.

Luxembourg, whose Prime Minister Xavier Bettel is openly gay, would become the 9th EU nation to legalize same-sex marriage if the bill is approved, joining the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Portugal, Denmark, France and the UK.

(Photo via Instagram)


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)

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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" »


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