by Max Brantley
Don't be confused by the Family Council's tinkering with its initiative to prevent members of unmarried couples from adopting children or being foster parents. They've added some language declaring it's in the best interest of children that this be the law of Arkansas. But the measure still goes too far. It's still unnecessary. It still will reduce the number of homes that can provide a haven for children sorely in need. It still will discriminate against relatives -- gay or straight -- seeking to take in children orphaned or otherwise separated from parents.
Gov. Mike Beebe still has it right and the gay-bashing "Christians" from the Family Council and its hateful father James Dobson have it wrong. A judge -- presented with the family situation, home study and testimony of affected parties and experts -- is better situated to decide what's in the best interest of the child than a homophobic political pressure group that promotes irrelevant hot button issues like these to make hay for Republican candidates.
Just because the Family Council says it doesn't make it so.
UPDATE: If you read the letter above, you'll understand clearly that this move is motivated by Gov. Beebe's well-crafted expressions of concern that this proposal goes to far. They've decided to "deal" with it, by declaring that the amendment addresses his concerns. What sophistry. Beebe continues to have the same reservations, of course. His statement:
"I remain opposed to this proposal, regardless of minor changes to its wording. Currently, decisions about the long-term care of adopted children are made on a case-by-case basis, with the best interest of the child as the guiding influence. We have a thorough system in place where child-care professionals and judges work diligently to place these children in caring and nurturing homes. This proposal aims to override that process and dictate the perceived best interests of these children to the courts and to the State of Arkansas. We should not undermine the current deliberative system and replace it with a rigid, blanket policy that does not allow full consideration for the circumstances of each child."