Thursday, April 7, 2011

Arkansas Supremes Strike Down Gay Adoption Ban

Just getting on the road for the lecture I'll be giving in early afternoon, so I haven't had time to blog this morning.  But as I begin my trip, I want to take note of some good news now breaking in my state, Arkansas.

In the 2008 elections, "faith-based" activists placed an initiated act outlawing adoption of children by unmarried (read: gay) couples on the ballot to get out the vote for the Republican party.  The ban passed.  And it definitely had the effect of bringing out many voters who apparently regarded it as their religious duty to pull the level for the Republican national ticket as they voted against the gays.

Today, the Arkansas Supreme Court has declared this initiated act unconstitutional.  The Supreme Court's decision was unanimous.  

As I read this news, I'm wondering how several cousins of mine who signed the petition to place this act on the 2008 ballot intend to behave when/if they next see me at any family gatherings.  A first cousin of mine who is a Southern Baptist minister signed the petition twice.  His wife signed, as did the wife of his brother, who is also a Southern Baptist minister.  A good Methodist cousin on the other side of my family, who taught in the state pharmacy school for many years, also signed, along with his wife.  My brother's sister-in-law and former business partner, a good Catholic, signed the petition.

In typical Southern fashion, when I see these cousins--now rarely, mostly at funerals--they all smile, hug, act as if they love me dearly.  I don't think I can sustain the lovey-dovey act now, if I do see them at reunions, knowing the prejudice they've worked actively to promote in our state.  

They should be ashamed.  But I doubt they will.

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