House Rejects Attack on Gay Families

July 29, 1999 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON — In a victory for fairness, the House today rejected a measure that would keep children languishing in foster homes rather than allow them to be adopted by unmarried partners, including gay and lesbian couples.

The measure, which would have prohibited unmarried couples in the District of Columbia from adopting children, was offered as an amendment to the annual spending bill for the District of Columbia by Representative Steve Largent (R-OK). It was defeated on a vote of 213 to 215.

Last year, the House adopted a similar measure proposed by Rep. Largent by a vote of 227 to 192, but it was later removed from the legislation.

“The right-wing of the Republican party continues to be so blinded by its fixation on punishing gays and lesbians that it is willing to sacrifice the well-being of the most vulnerable members of society: children in the foster care system,” said Christopher Anders, Legislative Counsel for the ACLU.

“Today, fortunately, that bigotry was rejected,” Anders added.

The proposal, which ignores the fact that there are simply not enough married people who are interested in adopting foster children, was opposed by the Child Welfare League of America and the American Psychological Association. According to Child Welfare League of America, four out of every five foster children available for adoption in 1996 were never adopted.

“The children who would have been consigned to a future of shuttling among foster care homes or government institutions will now have the opportunity to be raised by loving parents,” Anders said.

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