Gay adoption

Last year, we spent a lot of time mocking the self-righteous bigotry of Martin Cothran. Cothran, who works for the Kentucky affiliate of Focus on the Family and blogs for the Disco. Inst., objects to gays having an equal right to marriage, and thinks it’s hateful to call him a bigot for his anti-gay bigotry. Ah, well.

I mention all of this as preface to his latest round of bigotry. Today, he’s complaining about gays having equal access to adoption, and especially to a discussion on a local newspaper’s blog, in which he feel’s it’s been misunderstood:

that I was somehow referring to homosexual pedophilia when I remarked in a comment run by the Lexington Herald-Leader that gays were putting their political agenda before the safety children. Of course, I was doing no such thing. I was talking about the fact that having an unmarried sexual partner in the home is not a promising environment for the raising of a child–and the obsession people ? have for gay rights, an obsession which takes precedence over everything else.

So if gays could marry, I take it Cothran would have no objection to gay adoption.

Dream on. Because gays aren’t just unmarried, they are also apparently horrible people:

And, yes, there are some of us who are uncomfortable with putting children in the types of homes that have a demonstrably a high incidence of domestic abuse. If Jake disputes that this assertion also applies to gays, then his argument is not with me but with gay organizations that say it themselves.

To say that as a matter of state policy, we’re going to place children, many of whom have already been abused, in situations that lend themselves to abuse just so we can kowtow to gay rights groups is utterly and shamefully selfish.

His link to the Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project reveals that “One in four gay men experience domestic violence,” and composes his entire argument that same sex couples pose a greater than average risk of abuse or violence in the home. Unfortunately, it isn’t clear what that means. It’s conceivable that the number is being increased by counting both the perpetrator and the victim as someone “experiencing” domestic violence, and the source of that statistic isn’t listed, so it’s a bit hard to clarify. Interestingly, the United States Department of Justice’s National Violence Against Women Study found that “Intimate partner violence is pervasive in U.S. society. Nearly 25 percent of surveyed women ? said they were raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or date at some time in their lifetime.”

Gays thus fall within the norm for the population at large. And if we follow Cothran’s logic through to its conclusion, we should be forbidding interracial couples from adopting. After all, we have actual statistics which indicate that those households “lend themselves to abuse” at a greater rate than do gay households. That same DoJ study found that 43% of women in interracial households reported partner violence, much higher than the population at large. And we should really be forbidding straight adoption while we’re at it. The study finds:

Women living with female intimate partners experience less intimate partner violence than women living with male intimate partners. Slightly more than 11 percent of the women who had lived with a woman as part of a couple reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a female cohabitant, but 30.4 percent of the women who had married or lived with a man as part of a couple reported such violence by a husband or male cohabitant. These findings suggest that lesbian couples experience less intimate partner violence than do heterosexual couples

More particularly, men living with men experienced :

Men living with male intimate partners experience more intimate partner violence than do men who live with female intimate partners. Approximately 15 percent of the men who had lived with a man as a couple reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a male cohabitant, while 7.7 percent of the men who had married or lived with a woman as a couple reported such violence by a wife or female cohabitant. These findings, combined with those presented in the previous bullet [about female same sex couples], provide further evidence that intimate partner violence is perpetrated primarily by men, whether against male or female intimates. Thus, strategies for preventing intimate partner violence should focus on risks posed by men.

Note that this study finds that male or female same sex couples are half as likely to experience domestic violence as straight couples are, with gay men and lesbians reporting essentially the same numbers, far below the rates experienced by the population as a whole (and far below the 25% Cothran cites for gay male domestic violence). So let’s just forbid men from adopting.

Of course, these ideas are all wrong, since they are rooted in bigotry. Some gays are good adoptive parents, and some straights are adoptive parents, just as some gays will be bad adoptive parents and some straights will be, too. And some people who are good to their biological children will be bad adoptive parents. The screen for hopeful adopters can’t be based on irrelevancies like sexual identity or skin color. An adoption agency has to look at a given adopter and evaluate whether that person or couple is able to care for a child in every sense, including financially, but also emotionally and physically. Just as some straight people shouldn’t be parents, some gay people shouldn’t. But that isn’t because of which gender they find sexy. It’s based on that person’s unique traits and circumstances.

If Cothran doesn’t want to be called a bigot, he has to do a better job hiding his bigotry.

Comments

  1. #1 Arthur Hunt
    February 27, 2009

    Martin has never been good with numbers, statistics, or logic.

  2. #2 Lois
    June 25, 2009

    I am doing a research paper for college about gay and lesbian adoption. Where can I find the best information about how many straight people adopt versus how many gays adopt?

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