Adoption agencies receiving funding from the government that deny prospective foster and adoptive families the right to a child based on sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status could face penalties under a new federal bill being pushed by a group of U.S. lawmakers and gay activists.
The Every Child Deserves a Family Act which proposes to cut funding from any government dependent agency that rejects a prospective foster or adoptive family based on sexual orientation, gender identity and marital status was reintroduced in Washington last Tuesday. The bill is being sponsored by Democrats Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Rep. John Lewis of Georgia. Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida is also behind it.
"This bill highlights why discrimination in any form is unreasonable in a civilized society. You do the math," said Lewis last Tuesday. "Our society has the chance to eradicate the foster care adoption problem entirely, if we pass this bill. The persistence of discriminatory policy robs us of that opportunity."
Seven states currently ban homosexual couples from adopting their partner's children. Another five states restrict homosexual couples from legally filing for joint adoptions. According to gay activist group Family Equality Council, LGBT people are prevented from adopting or fostering children in 39 states.
The bill received further endorsement from last year's Republican vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan, who declared earlier this month that he regretted voting against a similar measure more than a decade ago.
"Adoption, I would vote differently these days," Ryan noted in an earlier report. "That was a vote I think I took in my first term, in 1999 or 2000. I do believe that if there are children who are orphans who do not have a loving person or couple, I think if a person wants to love and raise a child they ought to be able to do that. Period. So, I would vote that way (in support of bill)," he said.
A release from the Family Research Council this week, however, dismissed the proposal as a continued assault on traditional family values and the best interest of children.
"If it passes, the official policy of the U.S. government would be to penalize organizations who take the well-being of children into account in adoption placement. This is how backwards we've become as a society!" FRC said.
"As we've seen in the Boy Scouts membership debate, America's focus is no longer the well-being of children but on the 'well-being' of a small but politically powerful minority. There's an abundance of social science data supporting the common-sense belief that children do best when raised by a married mother and father."
"In the largest peer-review study ever done on same-sex parenting, Dr. Mark Regnerus found that the emotional, financial, academic, and physical outcomes of kids raised in homosexual homes rated 'suboptimal' or 'negative' in almost every category," FRC noted. "In outcome after outcome, he shows the serious risks to being raised in a homosexual home – not the least of which are poverty, depression, and abuse."