Governor Ducey, Children Need More than a ‘Loving Family’

Governor Doug Ducey issued the following statement yesterday to Arizona media regarding a change in adoption practices he is making at the Arizona Department of Child Safety:

“I have made it abundantly clear since day one that my administration is unambiguously and unapologetically pro-adoption. With 17,000 children under the state’s care, we need more adoption in Arizona, not less. That’s why I feel strongly – as I have said many times before – that all loving families should be able to serve as foster parents and adopt. I also have said my administration will follow the law. Practices have been brought to my attention that do not match those priorities, therefore, I’m instructing the Arizona Department of Child Safety to immediately ensure that all legally married couples in Arizona are able to jointly serve as foster parents and adopt. All children deserve a loving home, and under my watch, I’m committed to making sure government encourages that.”

Dear Governor Ducey:

You are right about one thing: we do need more adoption in Arizona.

But what constitutes “all loving families”? Are you going to develop a rating system to measure whether or not a family is “loving” enough? Will that be the only criteria used?

Is a cohabiting family a “loving” family? Cohabiting women in the U.S. and Canada are nine times more likely to be murdered by their boyfriend than a woman by her married husband.

Is a household headed by two homosexual men a “loving” family? For a first-person account of what this can be like for children in those situations, read the story of Dawn Stefanowicz.

Is a household headed by two homosexual women a “loving” family? What about Phoenix Mercury player Britney Greiner? She and her fiancee just got arrested for “ultimate fighting”? Homes with higher rates of domestic violence are not the optimal environment for children.

What is the optimal home environment for child-raising? Do you know? It’s a home headed by a married man and woman.

Where does the quality and stability of family home life enter in? Or does it even enter in at all?

Is the State of Arizona going to fast-track children in to homes just to speed up adoption, regardless of the environment of those “loving” families? Is quantity more important than quality?

What is the optimal family structure that can best support adoption? Have you thought about that? Or is political correctness your guide? Is your aim merely to appease as many people and groups as possible so you will get re-elected? While some children suffer in the so-called “loving” homes they have been placed in?

Will the children have any say in the kind of homes they are sent to live in during their all-important formative years?

Does it matter to you that children want a mom and a dad? Does it matter to you that children need a mom and a dad?

Does it matter to you that children need a stable environment where domestic violence is not taking place? Where drug and alcohol abuse is not rampant? Where fidelity is practiced between committed parents? Where children are not subjected to beatings or sexual abuse by live-in boyfriends or by multiple adults briefly associated with one or more parent? Where children are not subjected to pornography?

Will it matter to you that some children will be adopted by legally married adults who do not stay together very long?

Have you really thought through all the potential circumstances of the affected children – without a political lens to guide you?

Why purposefully make it worse for kids when it’s clear what’s best for kids?

Anyone can say, “We’re a loving family!” It’s the quality of the family structure that offers adoptive children the most stable home life and the best chance of succeeding socially. That’s what should by foremost among priorities for those determining adoption decisions.

 

A Casualty of Love: the daughter of two moms speaks out

A single Arizona judge has taken the audacious step of overthrowing Arizona’s constitutional marriagement amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman. He mistakenly and purposefully is denying children of what they need most: a mom and a dad. Read this account of what this judge, and many other judical activists around the nation, are doing by writing new, unwanted laws, from the bench.

By Meg

I was raised by my biological mother and her same-sex partner. I have only a few fuzzy memories of my father: a phone call here and there, his deep and unfamiliar voice wishing me a happy birthday, and a dim picture of the way the furniture had been arranged in his house. I have less than a handful of pictures of him. My mom and dad were married for a short time but she left him when I was too young to remember. She always knew she was gay and she wanted a chance to be happy with someone she really loved—with a woman.

I was raised in an area that was pretty liberal, open, and accepting of gays and lesbians. I know my mother experienced a lot of pain at the hands of others because of her sexuality, but as a child of same-sex parents, I was never mistreated because of it. I had two loving mothers who cared for my every need and with whom I have many wonderful and sweet memories. There was one need, however, that they could never meet no matter how much they loved me: the need for a father.

I love my mom deeply, fiercely, and unconditionally. She is an incredible woman, but I cannot pretend that her decision to leave my father and raise me with another woman did not have long-term and devastating consequences for me. I am a casualty of same-sex parenting. You see, I also love my absent father. I love a man whom I don’t even know. A man who, by all accounts, is a lousy father. I don’t know why I love him, I just do. When you are separated from a parent, for whatever reason, a wound is inflicted upon you. I ached for my father to love me. I ached for the father I knew I would never have. Losing my father was a tragedy in my life and it is a loss that I feel deeply every day. It’s a loss that can be ignored or numbed, for a short time, but never forgotten. Growing up without my dad colored everything about me. I had abandonment issues. I expected and feared that everyone close to me would leave me. Even as an adult I still grieve for what was taken from me. It wasn’t until my husband and I had children and I watched him with our kids that the full weight of what I’d lost with my own father hit me. And it hit me like a ton of bricks. Many people believe that so long as a child has two parents, gender doesn’t matter. But it does. I shouldn’t love my dad, but I do. I should love my “other mom,” but I don’t. I can’t change that, though I’ve definitely tried.

My relationship with my “other mom” was awkward. She helped raise me through my most formative years and I cannot recall life without her. I have many fond memories with her, but what I mostly remember is how awkward and uncomfortable our relationship felt. I had a mom, a dad whom I ached for, and then I had her. I hated the times she would try to parent me by offering me comfort or discipline. I accepted her only as my mom’s partner, not as a parent. Later, when she and my mom split up I felt relieved. I felt sad for my mom but I didn’t miss my “other mom” despite the fact that she raised me as her own daughter.

As a child growing up within the gay community, I was exposed to a lot of inappropriate things very early on. From the adult toys and pornographic magnets in the local gay and lesbian bookstore, to the men who parade around in S&M costumes at gay pride festivals. My interaction with and exposure to these parts of the larger gay culture and my missing father created the perfect storm that led to my early sexualization. As I got older, I used attention from boys to try to fill the wound my missing father left. I found myself in two abusive relationships in college because I was looking for the love and approval of a man but I had no idea how a good man should treat me. I accepted almost anyone who would “love” me.

Do I wish my mom lived a miserable life married to a man she didn’t love? No. I want my mom to be happy. But I also wish that she and my dad did love each other and that somehow it could have worked out. Her happiness cost me a great deal. We have to recognize that all children of same-sex parents are being raised in brokenness. Something precious and irreplaceable has been taken from us. Two loving moms, or two dads, can never replace the lost parent. In my case, and in many like mine, I was raised by same-sex parents because I was intentionally separated from my other biological parent and then told that “all that matters is love” and “love makes a family”. Love matters, but accepting and promoting same-sex parenting promotes the destruction of families, not the building of families.

ADF Asks Court to Uphold Marriage as One Man, One Woman

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys, jointly with the Arizona Solicitor General’s office, filed a motion Tuesday with a federal court to defend Arizona’s laws affirming marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

“Marriage expresses the reality that men and women bring distinct, irreplaceable gifts to family life, especially for children who deserve both a mom and a dad,” said Senior Counsel Byron Babione. “That is why Arizonans approved a constitutional amendment to affirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The court should uphold the right of Arizonans to define marriage consistent with this public policy, which is motivated by their concern over what’s best for children and society.”

ADF attorneys were appointed by Attorney General Tom Horne to assist the Arizona Solicitor General’s office in defending the state’s marriage laws after six same-sex couples sued county clerks in Pinal County, Maricopa County, and Coconino County.

According to the brief filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona in the case,Connolly v. Roche: “[M]arriage has always existed to channel the presumptive procreative potential of man-woman relationships into committed unions in order to join children to both their mother and their father. Nevertheless, some now seek to redefine marriage from a gendered to a genderless institution, while many others legitimately believe that such a change would obscure marriage’s animating purpose and undermine its social utility. So far, the States have reached differing decisions on this important question. Yet Plaintiffs, discontented with the sovereign decision of Arizonans, argue that the public debate about the meaning, purpose, and future of marriage was meaningless… But Plaintiffs are mistaken. The Constitution has not removed this question from the People.”

“The laws of Arizona have always reflected the man-woman nature of marriage,” added ADF Legal Counsel Jim Campbell. “The court should not endorse the recently conceived notion that marriage is about special government recognition for adult relationships, but instead should uphold the time-honored laws preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”

Society’s Marital Benefits

Among the most important purposes of civil government are to restrain evil, bring good to society, and bring order to society. On all three grounds, it is right to conclude that government should define and regulate marriage.

Marriage restrains evil by promoting sexual faithfulness between a man and a woman, by establishing a legally binding commitment for parents to care for their children, by establishing a legally binding commitment for spouses to be financially responsible for and to care for one another, and by providing a legal protection to keep women from being exploited by men who might otherwise enjoy a sexual relationship for a time and then abandon a woman and any children she may have borne.

Second, marriage brings good to society in multiple ways. It promotes social stability, economic well-being, educational, and economic benefits for children, the transmission of moral and cultural values to the next generation, and a stable social unit for interactions within society.

Third, the establishment of marriage brings order to society to the general public will know who is married and who is not. Marital status can be established as a matter of public record so that in various ways the society as a whole can honor and protect individual marriages and can know who is responsible for the care and protection and training of children, and for the care of spouses who have medical, financial or other needs. In this way, defining and regulating marriage gives stability and order to a society. It is an extremely important social good that government should encourage and protect.

Only civil government can define a standard of what constitutes a marriage for the state, nation, or whole society.

If no definition of marriage is given to an entire society, then chaos and much oppression of women and children will ensue. Without government establishment of what constitutes marriage, the result is a proliferation of children born in temporary relationships without commitment, and more children born with no one taking responsibility for their general well-being and welfare.

The worldwide consensus throughout history is that society as a whole, through its governing authorities, needs to define and regulate marriage for its citizens. The greatest cost benefit to government and society is when children are protected by a permanent, faithful, co-residential, sexual coupling of a committed, married man and woman.

Since marriage provides great benefits to society with immense value, society has an interest in protecting and encouraging marriage.  The Supreme Court has frequently confirmed this, declaring in 1885 “the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman” is “the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization.”

The history of marriage law in the U.S. shows that society has a strong interest in protecting and encouraging marriage between one man and one woman because of the great benefits that accrue from this institution – in multiple ways, benefits that no other relationship or institution can give.

Comparing the environment marriage provides during the pregnancy and birth of a baby with the environment of a cohabiting couple with no legal commitment attached, or to the environment provided by a temporary sexual liaison with no ongoing relationship, or to the environment provided by a homosexual couple that lacks either a mother or a father, or to the environment provided by a single mother who bears a child through in vitro fertilization or surrogate motherhood, it is evident the environment provided by the married heterosexual couple provides far more security for the child.

The environment is also better for the mother because marriage provides a better guarantee that the father will not abandon her to care for the child alone – including at cost to the taxpayers through government welfare programs. The environment of marriage is also better for the father because it provides strong legal and societal expectation that he will stay around and act responsibly with regard to the responsibilities formally associated with fatherhood.

All societies need babies to survive and thrive, and marriage between one man and one woman is the best environment for the birth, care, and raising of children. Children living with their own married parents attain significantly higher educational achievement. They are much more likely to enjoy a better economic standard in their adult lives and are much less likely to end up in poverty. Their physical and emotional health is better. They commit fewer crimes and experience less drug and alcohol abuse. They’ve demonstrated higher standards of integrity and moral principles.

Furthermore, children living with their own parents are less likely to experience physical abuse and are more likely to live in homes providing support, protection, and stability for them. They, in turn, are more likely to establish stable families in the next generation – requiring fewer government resources. Marital fidelity is highest among a married man and woman, resulting in the fewest STDs of any types of relational coupling. In addition, the highest rates of domestic abuse in society are among homosexuals – particularly females.

All of these factors are demonstrable through scholarly, peer-reviewed data – much of it provided by university researchers who describe their political leanings as Left.

And for all the reasons outlined above, marriage between one man and one woman is the basic building block of a stable society. It’s essential to the continuation of a healthy, stable society. It is highly beneficial for government to encourage and reward marriage between one man and one woman – through laws and policies. Policies and laws to the contrary do harm to the nation.

Homosexuals, as a whole, cannot provide the same benefits to children or society. Male homosexuals can expect a life expectancy shorted by 25-30 years. They are at a heightened risk of chronic, potentially fatal, liver disease (infectious hepatitis), fatal immune diseases including cancer, fatal rectal cancer, multiple bowel and other infectious diseases, higher rates of suicide, more drug and alcohol abuse, and adverse consequences due to risky behavior – most notably, frequent sex with hundreds, if not thousands, of anonymous sex partners.

Media in America typically represent homosexual couples as “normal” parents. But that is not an accurate portrayal of social realities. Nor is it an honest attempt at journalism, for the result is to delude society with false information. Media refuse to acknowledge that science has proved indisputably that homosexuality is not genetic, and fail to recognize the many social problems associated with homosexual relationships. The main reasons for dishonest, skewed, and false reporting by media is its collective liberal worldview, and its fear of protest by homosexual advocacy groups.

Furthermore, heterosexual marriage lasts many times longer than homosexual relationships (about 18 months. And when hetero marriages pass the 10-year mark, the divorce rate drops precipitously.

***

Postscript: Homosexual activists are attempting to place an initiative on the general election ballot in November of 2014 to overturn Arizona’s constitutional protection of marriage between one man and one woman. If they succeed in changing the law, everyone in Arizona loses. Additionally, the result of same-sex “marriage” means a loss constitutional freedom for Americans; same-sex “marriage” will over-rule the First Amendment’s recognition of free speech and religious freedom because to oppose same-sex “marriage” will result in punishment, job loss and marginalization for those opposed. For so many reasons, the best outcome for Arizona society is to defeat this effort.

Information cited from:

Wayne Grudem, Politics and the Bible.

Marcia Barlow, The Marriage Advantage, United Families International

Sexual Orientation, United Families International