Thursday, April 27, 2017

Hard Heart of Dixie

The fight against marriage equality goes on:
Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
Apr 27, 2017

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey is expected to sign a bill this week ensuring that adoption agencies in her state can discriminate against same-sex couples. The rationale for HB24, according to its chief Senate sponsor, Sen. Bill Hightower (R-Mobile), is that if they're required to consider same-sex couples just like anyone else, adoption agencies would rather shut down. “The need for adoption is so high," Hightower explained. "We need to have every avenue available.”

Much better, as Alabama Republicans see it, to lock potential adoptive parents out of the system. The law doesn't specifically name LGBT parents as its target of discrimination, so one can easily imagine the possibility of a wider issue:
“It’s hard to see this as anything but animus toward LGBT families, but the bill could have a greater effect than that,” said Randall Marshall, the Legal Director for ACLU Alabama. “Agencies could turn away qualified families for countless other reasons that have no relevance to their ability to provide a safe loving home. A Catholic or Jewish agency could turn away Evangelical or Protestant families. A family could be turned away because they don’t attend church regularly.”
The Daily Show has been airing a series of reports in an effort to understand Alabama, which happens to have the lowest viewership of The Daily Show in the country; and in Monday's report, State Rep Patricia Todd, the state legislature's one and only openly gay member, noted that her state was the only one in Dixie not to have passed antigay legislation while she has been in office. She now has to sing a different tune.
“I’m tired of being in a country where I’m not welcome,” Rep. Patricia Todd, a Birmingham Democrat, told Rep. Rich Wingo, the Tuscaloosa Republican who sponsored the bill. “And to deal with institutions that know nothing about me but make a judgment that I’m a bad person because I am gay.”
Lest you think that Alabama is out in front on this issue, South Dakota, Michigan, North Dakota, and Virginia have all passed similar laws, and have been proposed in several other states as well. Discriminating against LGBT Americans has been and continues to be a legislative priority for Republicans everywhere.

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