Michigan is facing yet another colossal
budget deficit, the unemployment rate is still far above the
national average and education costs at public universities are
moving rapidly out of the realm of affordability. With all that the
state needs to worry about, it is disheartening to know that state
Rep. Bill Hardiman (R – Kentwood) and state Attorney General
Mike Cox have chosen to address the wedge issue of gay adoption.
Recently, at Hardiman’s request, Cox officially announced
that gay adoption is against Michigan law and that, as a matter of
policy, Michigan will not recognize adoptions performed in other
states.

Janna Hutz

Fundamentally, this decision will have little legal impact on
homosexual couples who wish to adopt. Gay and lesbian couples will
not be able to adopt as a couple, but individuals who are in
relationships will still be able to adopt as single parents. Thus,
one partner in a homosexual relationship could legally adopt a
child and both partners could raise the child as a two-parent
family. Unfortunately, even though gay couples will be able to
adopt, it will damage the concept of a cohesive family. Because
only one parent will be legally recognized, only that parent will
have the legal rights that come with parenthood. This is of great
concern as raising a child without proper legal recognition creates
a wide range of logistical problems.

This decision is morally troubling as there is no valid
rationale for legally blocking gay adoption.

This decision was political in nature. Most likely, Cox and
Hardiman were motivated by the same pressures that drove President
Bush to endorse a federal Constitutional amendment banning gay
marriage. It is troubling that state officials feel the need to
institute superfluous and discriminatory policies merely because of
personal prejudice and political expediency.

Unfortunately, Cox’s decision may have detrimental effects
that he did not anticipate. Currently, the foster-care system is
overloaded, and many children live their childhood bouncing from
home to home. Gay and lesbian couples who wish to have children are
forced to adopt. This decision makes it harder for couples to adopt
successfully, and might discourage homosexual couples from
adopting. Children will be stuck in the foster care system for an
extended period, as willing parents are discouraged by
discriminatory state policy. Additionally, because gay adoptions
performed in other states will not be recognized in Michigan,
families will be legally dissolved when they relocate into the
state. Besides being extremely inconvenient, this violates the U.S.
Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit clause, which ensures
that states honor each other’s marriages and driver’s
licenses, etc.

This year has brought issues pertaining to gay rights to the
forefront of the political debate, and recent actions at the
federal and state levels are clear reminders that irrational
prejudice is still a powerful political force. Cox’s decree
to block gay adoption, should be condemned for its discriminatory
premise and negative consequences.

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