Thursday, April 29, 2010
Sorry Kids, You Don't Get Two Parents in Lose-iana
They don't get it in Louisiana. I'd hoped they would, but they just don't. They hear the word gay in any sentence and automatically shut down.
It's been scarcely a week since I wrote a post [HERE] about a Louisiana congressman, Juan LaFonta, and his proposed bill that would have allowed unmarried couples--straight OR gay--to jointly adopt a child, and allow an existing parent--straight OR gay--to petition a court to add a second adult--straight OR gay--as a legal parent. See, Louisiana? It wasn't about being gay, it was about adoption, and allowing those children to be adopted by both parents in an unmarried relationship.
But it's not gonna happen. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted a 3-1 rejection of the measure.
The debate pitted the Forum for Equality, a gay rights advocacy group, the ACLU, and other adoptive parents, including straight New Orleans City Council President Arnie Fielkow, against a long list of mostly religious interests: the Louisiana Family Forum, the Conference of Catholic Bishops and representatives of Louisiana Southern Baptists. Even wingnut, moron, asshat, Republican Governor Bobby Jindal opposed the bill to allow adoptive children the right to two parents.
Kelly Bryson of New Orleans had asked lawmakers to approve the bill so she and her partner, Erika Knott, can "complete our family." The couple gained custody of a Louisiana foster child, William, just before Hurricane Katrina, but only Knott was allowed to adopt the boy. When they moved to Maryland after the storm, Bryson successfully petitioned for a second parent adoption. Now, they are back in Louisiana, and Knott has again adopted; the boy is William's biological brother Jeremy. But with no change to the law, William has two legally recognized parents, while Jeremy has just one.
John Yeats, representing the not-quite-forward thinking Louisiana Baptist Convention, declared the bill a back-door attempt to legalize gay marriage, though the law pertains strictly to unmarried straight OR gay partnerships. He even went so far as to warn the law makers that "if we allow marriage to become a homosexual institution" society would lose words like "husband" and "wife" to designations like "partner" and "unmarried couple."
Oh, dear, we might lose words! The horror! As if that would happen. But, if it did, we'd always have asshat, just for you, John Yeats.
It was Republican--naturally--Senators Don Claitor, Jack Donahue, and Bob Kostelka who voted against the measure. Democratic Senator Ed Murray was the lone "yes" vote. Republican Chairwoman Julie Quinn did not vote, and two Democrats, Rob Marionneaux and Nick Gautreaux skipped the meeting altogether.
Bad enough for those who voted "no" on giving children the right to two parents, straight OR gay, but equally disgusting are those who either did not vote, or simply didn't show up.