Last week Rep. Pete Stark of California introduced the Every Child Deserves a Family Act which denies federal funding to states with adoption programs that discriminate on the basis of marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity. From the Washington Blade:
Stark said in an interview that he introduced the legislation, H.R. 3827, in part because thousands of children each year “age out” of the child welfare system without finding homes.
“We got 25,000 kids a year maturing out of the welfare system without permanent foster care or adoptive care, and the prospects of those children having a successful adult life are diminished greatly,” he said. “These are kids who end up in the criminal justice system, or end up homeless.”
States with explicit restrictions on adoption that the pending legislation would affect are Utah, Florida, Arkansas, Nebraska and Mississippi. Florida, for example, has a statute specifically prohibiting gays from adopting, and in Arkansas, voters last year approved Act 1, which prevents unmarried co-habitating couples, including same-sex partners, from adopting children.
The legislation, Stark said, also would restrict funds for states where restrictions are put in place by agencies, individual social workers or judges, or where restrictions are part of the common law of the state.
For states that don’t comply with the law, federal officials could withhold from the states funds provided to them for child welfare services. The bill also calls.
This is very good news, and it’s likely to create quite a curfuffle among the religious right, and Catholics in particular. Take Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for example, who appeared on Pat Robertson’s 700 Club last week to pimp his new book and said this about gays and adoption: “We’re not going to allow gay people to adopt children. That’s against nature. It’s against nature’s God! But they won’t stop!”
If H.R. 3827 passes, perhaps it will be the event that finally makes Bill’s head explode. We can dream can’t we?