N.C.: The eye of a coming storm over marriage/adoption rights?
Some Republicans in North Carolina are anxious to tell the courts what kinds of families can adopt children, as a counter-move against gay activists who are getting the courts to define adoption in their own terms. Now, gay activits fear that a recent North Carolina ruling upholding a state senator's right to adopt a child with a lesbian partner may be a catalyst for a state or national backlash against gay adoption and gay rights. Conservative legislators, the proponents of gay adoption now fear, may use the adoption debate as a platform for facilitation of legislative bans within adoption laws, thus setting a precedent for other states to follow suit. The June 18 ruling granted Senator Julia Boseman (D) legitimacy in the adoption of her son, in 2005, with her lesbian partner. But this ruling may be fodder for a coming backlash. From the Observer, quoted by Assembloge, August 2009:
Several conservative legislators say they are concerned that judges seem to be creating adoption laws.
“The effect of this is that adoption policy can now be set by our district court judges,” said state Rep. Paul Stam, a Wake County Republican and a lawyer. “All people have to do now is find one district court judge who will do what they want. That’s the lowest common denominator adoption policy.”
State Sen. Jim Forrester, a Gaston County Republican, said it might be time for legislators to explicitly tell judges what kind of families can adopt children.
Forrester, who is against gay adoptions, said judges are crossing the line and becoming advocates instead of arbiters.
Short of a law change, the issue will likely remain unresolved.
However, once an issue has been highlighted, it is unlikely to remain on the sidelines. The debte between state's rights and federal mandates, and the conflict over individual judge rulings versus will of the people voted-in law finds a swirling tornado forming here. Groups such as NARTH are questioning former research and metholdology stating that gay parents are as capable of providing optimum care as heterosexual married couples. A conservative obstructionist agenda to "take back the real America" will use all major issues - from gay marriage and adoption, to health care reform, to economic stimulus - to advance its own agenda; while at the same time progressive zealots will do likewise, deepening the divide of the culture wars. When founding father James Madison said, "Ambition will counter-act ambition", he was already stating the crux of our current cultural divisiveness. Unity, it seems, was never the presupposition of the Republic.