Letter to Mary Margaret Whipple, District 31, Virginia Senate, about HR2921 (VA “anti-gay” adoption bill)   

(Feb. 16. 2005)


Dear Sen. Whipple: I believe that I live in District 31 (Arlington north) and that you are the right contact in the Virginia State Senate.


Rep. Richard Black has introduced a bill (HR2921) requiring that applicants to adopt children ask if either parent is homosexual ("must ask must tell" rather than "don't ask don't tell"), and prohibit adoption by any household with a homosexual parent.  I understand that the Supreme Court allowed to stand a somewhat similar provision in Florida, and that a somewhat similar law in Arkansas (refering to foster care in any home having a homosexual housedhold member) was struck down in state court. Rep. Black may have been motivated by the Supreme Court's inaction in the Florida case.


A good web reference occurs in the Jan. 25 Washington Times, at http://washingtontimes.com/metro/20050125-101106-3685r.htm


Of course, I am against the measure, and I believe that if it passed, it could encourage further copycat measures, such as an attempt to ban gay teachers, or at least gays from teaching in some situations (like special education, in conjunction with NCLB). One factor to remember is that federal law now has a legal definition for the word "homosexual" in its 1993 Defense Authorization Bill, the now notorious law that created the "don't ask don't tell" policy for homosexuals in the military but which is also capable of setting a bad legal precendent for sensitive workplace situations in civilian life.


Rep. Eisenberg advises me that it was reported out of committee with the following wording:


"this bill will now directs that the investigative report presented by the adoption agency to a judge prior to entry of an order of adoption include information on whether the petitioner is known to engage in current voluntary homosexual activity or is unmarried and cohabiting with another adult to whom he is not related by blood or marriage. This information would be in addition to information on whether the petitioner is financially able, morally suitable, in satisfactory physical and mental health and a proper person to care for and to train the child, among other criteria."


Nevertheless, this bill is obviously very slanderous of GLBT people and implies that they should not take part in an important social responsibility (raising children), and therefore could be denied rights in other areas. I also understand that the Senate Judiciary Committe has invited Paul Cameron to testify. Mr. Cameron is well known for his extremist views and he generally does not have a good reputation within the professional psychological committee.


I hope you will vote this bill down (as did Rep. Eisenberg).


Business address

4201 Wilson Blvd #110-688

Arlington, VA 22203-1859


Best phone number is 571-334-6107


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