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Only straight couples need apply

I try not to talk about politics on this blog too much. However, sometimes I’ll come across an article that just makes my blood boil and I can’t help myself. Today is one of those days. I read this article about Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum saying that he doesn’t think gay people should be allowed to foster or adopt children.  Shouldn’t the most important thing in selecting foster and adoptive parents be a loving and stable environment? 

“I really do not think that we should have homosexuals guiding our children,” McCollum said.

He’s saying that merely being gay somehow precludes someone from being a good parent.  I say bullshit.  If you’re going to purport that the only environment in which children should be raised is a heterosexual one, then why stop with gays?  Why not ban foster care and adoptions by single people, gay or straight? 

The 2000 U.S. Census also showed that there are approximately 600,000 gay and lesbian families, and that they live in 99.3% of all U.S. counties.  These families are like their straight family counterparts.  They drive their children to school, they carpool to after school activities.  They help them with their homework.  They have play dates and birthday parties.  They love their children.  Love knows no race, gender, or sexual orientation. 

Florida has the distinction of being the only state in the country that has an outright ban on adopting to homosexual parents.  The few brave couples in Florida who have challenged this ban and tried to adopt their foster children have had their families threatened to be torn apart by the state.  Again, isn’t this supposed to be about the children?  How can ripping them away from loving parents and siblings be a good thing?  It’s better to bounce around from foster home to foster home rather than be adopted by loving gay parents?  How many of those children were taken away from straight “traditional” family homes in the first place? 

McCollum is right about one thing.  He says it’s inconsistent that the foster care law reads one way and the adoption law reads a different way.  He’s right, it is incosistent.  A gay couple can foster a child for years, but then not be allowed to adopt that same child.  I contend that the correct thing to do is not change the foster policies, but lift the ban on gay adoption.  It is, after all, supposed to be about the children, not the politics.

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