While the news has been that Bill 185 will not go to the floor for a vote due to lack of support, the bill is, nevertheless, a “live bill”, and thus still demands attention. And even if Bill 185 is withdrawn, the issue, the creation of a legal equivalent to marriage between one man and one woman, is not going to go away, and will continue to follow us into the future. Thus, it is hoped that responsible legislators will continue to educate themselves on the aspects and consequences of such legislation.
Fortunately for us, other states are “field testing” the consequences of such legislation for us. We have only to look and learn. One of the consequences of creating a legal equivalent to marriage is the right of same-sex couples to adopt children. Recently (2/22/10), in the wake of a new law in Washington D.C. allowing same-sex marriages, Catholic Charities of Washington D.C. announced that it will close its 80 year-old foster care and adoption program.
The new law would require the Catholic adoption program to treat opposite sex and same-sex couples equally in considering foster and adoptive parents for children, something the Catholic Church or its agencies cannot do. Obviously, the burden of caring for these children will probably now fall to a government agency at an increased cost to taxpayers.
Time and again we are seeing where the inversion of the most fundamental of all societal institutions, (i.e. marriage between one man and one woman) creates ethical dilemmas heretofore never imagined.
This current story poses one of the most glaring dilemmas. It's one thing for same-sex couples to want to share their life together. It's another thing to insert a child into that life. It's not a question as to whether same-sex couples can provide for the child. It's a question of whether or not forcing the child into a parent-child relationship with a same-sex couple is good for the child. In short, will it be good for the child to see daddy and daddy in bed together? (What child hasn't stumbled upon an intimate moment between parents?)
The fact is that, on Guam, gays and lesbians can adopt children now, since single adults are allowed to adopt and there is no criteria governing gender identity. While one can question whether the adoption of a child by a gay or lesbian is healthy and good for the child, by law, such an adoption cannot be challenged. However, the passage of Bill 185 would give legal sanction to the adoption of children by same-sex couples.
Senators, the passage of Bill 185 into law is not just a matter of granting rights to a particular segment of our society, it is a matter that will affect an untold number of aspects of our society such as that just mentioned.
Senators, we encourage you to continue to be vigilant on this matter and do all you can to not only preserve the traditional family but to advance it. Please take the leadership in looking at all aspects of the law in which the family, the fundamental societal unit, is affected and do all you can to assist the family and help it prosper.
“Law shapes the culture”,
Coalition to Oppose Bill 185