Saturday, January 31, 2009

Thoughts on Adoption by Same-sex Parents - from John Corvino

Okay, it's been a while since I've stolen a good article and just dumped it here. I ran across this one today and thought it was worth sharing. (Click the title for a link to the original article.)



Corvino: The truth about gay adoption


I don’t have children, I don’t want children, and I don’t “get” children.

Some of my friends have children. I like their children best at two stages of their lives:

(1) When they’re small enough that they come in their own special carrying cases and stay put in them.

(2) When they’re big enough that they don’t visit at all, but instead do their own thing while their parents do grownup stuff.

In between those stages, children tend to run amok, which makes me nervous. My house is full of sharp and heavy objects. I did not put them there to deter children—honest!—but I am more comfortable when children (or their parents) are thus deterred. It’s safer for everyone involved.

Having said that, I admire people who have children. I have a flourishing life largely because I was raised by terrific parents. When others choose to make similar sacrifices, I find it immensely praiseworthy.

Which may be why opposition to gay adoption makes me so angry.

Mind you, I am not by nature an angry person. Regular readers of this column know that I go out of my way to understand my opponents. Rick Warren compares homosexuality to incest? Well, what did he mean by the comparison? What was the context? What’s motivating him?

Attack gay parents, however, and my first impulse is to pick up one of the aforementioned sharp and heavy objects and hurl it across the room.

That’s partly because these attacks criticize adults who are doing a morally praiseworthy thing. And it’s partly because the attacks hurt innocent children, toward whom I feel oddly protective, despite my general aversion.

Back in November, a Miami Dade circuit judge ruled that Florida’s law banning gays from adopting is unconstitutional. This is very good news.

The Florida ban took effect in 1977, the era of Anita Bryant and Jerry Falwell. We’ve come a long way since then—or so I’d like to think.

Yet the Florida religious right is trotting out the same old arguments, repeatedly insisting that having both a mother and father is “what’s best for children.”

Let’s put down our sharp and heavy objects for a moment and try addressing this calmly.

Every mainstream child health and welfare organization has challenged this premise. The American Academy of Pediatrics. The Child Welfare League of America. The National Association of Social Workers. The American Academy of Family Physicians—you name it.

These are not gay-rights organizations. These are mainstream child-welfare organizations. And they all say that children of gay parents do just as well as children of straight parents.

But let’s suppose, purely for the sake of argument, that they’re all wrong. Let us grant—just for argument’s sake—that what’s best for children is having both a mother and a father.

Even with that major concession, our opponents’ conclusion doesn’t follow. The problem is that their position makes the hypothetical “best” the enemy of the actual “good”.

Indeed, when discussing adoption, it’s a bit misleading to ask what’s “best” for children.

In the abstract, what’s “best” for children—given our opponents’ own premises—is to not need adoption in the first place, but instead to be born to loving heterosexual parents who are able and willing to raise them.

So what we’re really seeking is not the “best”—that option’s already off the table—but the “best available.”

What the 1977 Florida law entails is that gay persons are NEVER the best available. And that’s a difficult position for even a die-hard homophobe to maintain.

It’s difficult to maintain in the face of thousands of children awaiting permanent homes.

It’s difficult to maintain in the face of gay individuals and couples who have selflessly served as foster parents (which they’re permitted to do even in Florida).

It’s difficult to maintain in light of all the other factors that affect children’s well-being, such as parental income, education, stability, relationships with extended family, neighborhood of residence, and the like—not to mention their willingness and preparedness to take on dependents.

What the Florida ban does is to single out parental sexual orientation and make it an absolute bar to adoption, yet leave all of the other factors to be considered on a “case-by-case,” “best available” basis.

Meanwhile, thousands of children languish in state care.

For the sake of those children, I resist my urge to hurl heavy objects at the Florida “family values” crowd. Instead, I ask them sharply and repeatedly:

Do you really believe that it is better for children to languish in state care than to be adopted by loving gay people?

Those are the real-world alternatives. Those are the stakes. And our opponents’ unwillingness to confront them is an abysmal moral failure.


John Corvino, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, and philosophy professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. His column “The Gay Moralist” appears Fridays on 365gay.com.

For more about John Corvino, or to see clips from his “What’s Morally Wrong with Homosexuality?” DVD, visit www.johncorvino.com.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Story of My Life - a new musical

The Story of My Life is a new musical that's scheduled to open on Broadway next month. I stumbled across the show quite by accident -- first in the form of a bootleg audio recording of the Toronto production and then I came across the composer's demo.

The show is a simple, sweet, and heartfelt exploration of the friendship of two men who met in first grade. More strikingly, the music is phenomenal. Neil Bartram and Brian Hill have created a moving story with some of the best tunes you'll hear on Broadway. From the clever and sweet "Mrs. Remington" to the profoundly moving "The Butterfly Effect" and "My Father", the score is fresh and often sublime.

Sadly, I think jaded New York audiences (and definitely New York reviewers) will find the show corny and in this economic climate the show will probably fold after a couple months of mediocre audiences. I hope I'm proven wrong. The amazing cast of two (Malcolm Gets and Will Chase) and small nine-piece orchestra may help keep production costs to a minimum...which may help the show hold on. But these are tough economic times, especially for commercial theatre, and even more so in a city where the theatre industry is driven by waning tourist trade.

If nothing else, I sincerely hope the score gets recorded. This is one musical destined to be a favorite among small theatres across the country.

For more info check out the official website: http://thestoryofmylife.com

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Memorable Quotes...

Lisa forwarded me a list of heartwarming things I've apparently said over the years. It's no "nom, nom, nom" but enjoy nonetheless...
  • You're my anti-depressant. Therefore, you've got a legal obligation to keep me happy.
  • Just doing a mental striptease for my adoring imaginary fans.
  • Next time on The Brandon Show...Brandon gets a new box of pens!
  • Sexyback, nothin! Brokeback is where it's at. Take that Justin Timberlake!
  • (nutmeg gives you herpes)
  • I'd have stayed in the clink
  • So here's the question: do I room with the boring gay guy or the fun straight guy? I already dismissed the tranny.
  • Boo, you torte tart
  • you were always such a smart little whore
  • What the hell is a bizzle?
  • Kiss my monkey ass. I meant kiss my ass, monkey...but either way...
  • Sometimes when I'm being fondled I ask that they wait a minute so I can go change into my bathing suit to see if it's inappropriate. But then I realize that I swim naked...so it's impossible to tell.
  • Suck on that, peasants!
  • It's definitely a fake. No self respecting bus stop would allow itself to be used as butt-floss.
  • It just occurred to me, if the elves don't want to get hit by the poisoned darts, they should get out of the friggin' way!
  • I type all my passwords with my elbows. That way even I don't know what they are.
  • Tell her you'll kick her in the katits if she doesn't button it.
  • Meh...maybe I'll get into emotional S&M.
  • Bazactly. Or is it peezactly?
  • "Mawwaige...such a piece of cwap..."
  • (whooza cute puppy...whooza cute puppy...)
  • I can offer you a bisexual asian who likes to cuddle at 2 am and gets blowjobs from his coworkers...
  • gay people don't make babies. Eww.
  • Oh, I like to drink. Just not alcohol. It makes me feel pukey and head hurty. If I could get the buzz and the lousy judgment without the side effects, I'd totally be there!
  • Yeah, his junk is not placed properly.
  • Make sure your ASSbestos is covered.
  • As a cat-loving closet lesbian (coincidentally of French-Canadian origin), I must take offense at some of your unwarranted snarkiness, but I do agree that CĂ©line Dion is one big dreadfully annoying bizatch.
  • Another thought: Perhaps flies are the ultimate practical jokers. Besides babies and mice of course. If the purpose of a practical joke is to make someone look foolish for everyone else's amusement, then I submit that flies, babies, and mice are the holy trinity of practical jokers and the rest of us can only look on in awe.
  • Thanks for saving me from years of health and happiness. Now I'll forever be alone, sick, and miserable like all the cool people.
  • Having thoroughly examined your spider bite via the magic of the interweb, we at the National Center for Spider Bite Identification, Treatment, and Occasional Pronouncement of Fatalities are convinced that you won't survive. Warmest regards, Reinhold Snotweiler
  • You know, if the Electric Blankets of the world didn't discriminate against bedwetters, I'd totally use one.
  • I'd vote for Barack Hussein Osama bin Biden before John Mussolini Dahmer Hitler McInane.
(bows deeply)

I'm not a bad person...

...at least I think I'm not. But for some reason, every time I hear "nom, nom, nom" I dissolve into fits of hysterical laughter.

(Pretend there's an image here, but realize I'm not gonna steal from my best friend's blog.)

Maybe I am a bad person. Still, it's impossible for anyone who enjoys their wedding cake THAT much to do so without spreading the joy.

You had me at "nom, nom, nom."

Support your local theatre

Guess what? The economy is in the toilet! Yeah, I know it's a big news flash, but it is. People are losing their jobs, industries are scaling back, and guess where it's gonna hit the hardest. The arts. If future generations measure the merits of a civilization by their artistic accomplishments, and by and large they do, it's important now more than ever to shore up the arts in our communities. Theatres across the country are scaling back or even closing their doors. Recently two local professional theatres have announced major cuts, and the storm isn't over.

State and federal budget cuts are inevitable. And as usually happens, the first thing that will be cut is funding for the arts. Most of these organizations are not-for-profit resources to the community. Frequently nonprofit theatres raise only half of their annual budgets through ticket sales (give or take). In the best of times, arts organizations rely heavily on government, corporate, and private contributions...and in the worst of times, when the government cuts its budget and corporations are losing money, the arts organizations are forced to either scale back or go out of business. Those that do weather the storm only do so because of the generosity of the people who understand the value of arts in our communities.

So find an arts organization in your community--one whose work you value--and go! Buy a ticket to a show. Take your family to the art museum. Participate in the arts. And then donate. Be as generous as you can. And send your contribution with a lovely letter telling them how important they are to you, to your children, and to the community.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Utah's Fightin' 3rd...

This just makes you proud to be a Utahrd.



"You're not the boss of me, Nancy Pelosi" - Rep. Jason Chaffets