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Protests designed to hide Constitutional subversion

It’s a clever tactic by supporters of legally-sanctioned homosexual relations, but if it is the will of the people of Louisiana, this agenda may be derailed.

As consumers of what passes as “news,” observers always should wonder when something becomes declared “newsworthy” by the media that doesn’t seem to have any real cause or impetus behind it. Such was this story about how a state board, after its existence of seven years, and about a year after election of socially conservative Gov. Bobby Jindal who appoints it members, suddenly has gotten worried promoters of legally-sanctioned homosexual relations.

The Commission on Marriage and Family has seldom conducted any activities, but Jindal has expressed interest in activating it and its nominal head state Sen. Sharon Weston Broome has scheduled a meeting of it. Jindal released an executive order on Aug. 22 re-establishing it. In October, he appointed its members. But only now does it seem to be drawing the alarm of some homosexual advocacy groups, which claim now it could be used as some kind of political cover for an “attack” of homosexuals adopting a child. They argue too many religious conservatives appear to be on this panel and, even though not a word has been uttered indicating any disapproval of these kinds of adoptions, that now it’s something to be worried about because the people of Arkansas in November voted to make unconstitutional such arrangements and the Commission could conceivably promote a similar policy.

This is an odd rationale. The Commission can do nothing but recommend, but somehow its opponents think a pronouncement by it on the issue would engender enough political power as to sweep the state into also making unconstitutional unmarried couples being able to adopt jointly. Yet there’s no real reason this has to happen: if enough of the people and political elites think this such a measure is good public policy, they don’t need a commission to tell them that and get them going to achieve it.

The timing of this complaint also is extremely curious. Why complain now? If these groups had stated publicly their concerns with the re-establishment in August (with the order itself extolling the virtues of marriage only between a man and woman, overwhelmingly approved by Louisianans into the Constitution years ago), or when the Commission’s composition was determined in October, or when Arkansas acted in November, that might make sense. But why go public, seemingly without warning, at the end of December?

Even more intriguing is, by law, just as same-sex marriage was ratified as unconstitutional, many years before that the Louisiana Legislature prohibited unmarried couples from adopting. Act 235 from 1991 created Article 1198 of the Children’s Code which unambiguously states that, outside of intrafamily or agency adoptions, “A single person, eighteen years or older, or a married couple jointly may petition to adopt a child through an agency.” Legally, this idea the groups see as problematic is a nonissue: the only couples that may adopt in Louisiana are married, and since same-sex couples cannot marry, such couples cannot adopt. What these groups complain about being attenuated already is banned by law, so why are they complaining? And the law still permits a single homosexual parent to adopt, so where’s the problem?

The answer lies in a little-noticed court decision made days ago. In New York, where same-sex couple adoptions are allowed, two men sued Louisiana to have the birth certificate of an adoptive child born in the state altered to put both of their names on it. Louisiana allows adoptive parents on the official birth certificate to have their name(s) and seals the original. However, R.S. 40:79 makes clear that “If the child is adopted by a married couple, the names of both parties shall be recorded as the parents …” and “If the child is adopted by a single person, the word ‘adopted’ may be written on the new birth certificate if the adopting parent requests it, otherwise no such wording shall be imprinted on the document and the name of the single adopting parent shall be recorded on the new birth certificate.” In other words, state law does not anticipate putting a non-married couple’s names on the document.

U.S. Eastern Louisiana District Judge Jay Zainey (a 2002 appointee of Pres. George W. Bush) ruled that since the adoption was legal in New York and that Louisiana allowed adoptive parents’ names on certificates, that the state would have to accommodate even though an attorney general’s opinion on the ambiguity ruled that the state did not have to put both names. This is a federal question since it involved the “full faith and credit” clause of the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, the only way it would appear that the state could prevent this would be a law or amendment that specifies that unmarried couples cannot adopt, as opposed to listing that only married couples or single individuals may do so.

And that’s what advocates of legalized homosexual unions are afraid of. With this ruling, despite the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, some privileges of marriage are being conveyed to same-sex couples. Consider: what if these two men decided to move to Louisiana? Because of this ruling, regarding the welfare of the child (the men argued in their court briefing health care benefits could be denied relative to the child) this same-sex union would have equal footing with constitutional marriage. It’s a back door way of forcing benefits associated with marriage to be granted to same sex pairs, contravening the Constitution.

Unless that is taken care of legally or constitutionally. It’s not a commission making recommendations that they fear, but that the import of an event, this decision relative to existing adoption and records law and the impact on same-sex unions, that has them worried. Thus, they went public when word of this court decision got out in order to defuse the situation and to deflect attention from this, using the Commission and the passage of the Arkansas amendment as excuses. They didn’t want anybody connecting the dots that could allow this new loophole to continue undisturbed

Such tactics should not distract those who believe public policy should grant no special privileges to people of the same sex who decide they want to live together and call themselves united in some fashion. If they can muster a majority, they need to have legislation passed or an amendment ratified to negate this end run around the Constitution.

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