by Max Brantley
Credit where due. We've been less than impressed by Gov. Beebe's timidity on the gay adoption bill. And he hasn't exactly struck a profile in courage still. But Brummett Blog reports that he said at a news conference today that he believes there's a constitutional problem with the bill as now written. He didn't say why, but Brummett speculates it's because of the hazy definition of cohabitation and the ban on adoption. Maybe even that a ban on foster parenting might have constitutional problems. (I've edited the original post, which put words in Beebe's mouth that he didn't say.)
Duh on constitutionality. It's also simply wrong. But you won't hear Beebe utter those simple, declarative bold words. We'll take what we can get, we suppose.
This is perhaps the setup for the bill to land in House Judiciary, rather than a couple of unfriendlier committees, where it's widely expected (though perhaps optimistically) to fail, now on reason cited by the capable lawyer who happens to be the state's top elected official. It appears to be a carefully choreographed dance and, I know, the outcome, not the execution, is the thing. Not that I'm counting chickens just yet.
UPDATE: The bill is going to Judiciary.