Let John McCain speak for himself. Any comment would be superfluous:
Q: President Bush believes that gay couples should not be permitted to adopt children. Do you agree with that?
Mr. McCain: I think that we’ve proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no I don’t believe in gay adoption.
Q: Even if the alternative is the kid staying in an orphanage, or not having parents.
Mr. McCain: I encourage adoption and I encourage the opportunities for people to adopt children I encourage the process being less complicated so they can adopt as quickly as possible. And Cindy and I are proud of being adoptive parents.
Footnote: Remember how the neocons used to rant about the resistance among some African-Americans to the adoption of black kids by white families, and how horrible it was to prefer ideology to the welfare of actual children? I guess it all depends on whose ox is gored.
Second footnote The interview is a disgusting collection of softballs, including one string where the reporters are practically begging McCain to criticize the press for being biased toward Obama. Not a hint of a question about why McCain’s budget proposals don’t add, or any follow-up on the birth control question that had him so flummoxed yesterday, nothing about all his flip-flops. Somehow I doubt Obama will get comparable treatment when it’s his turn.
Update An email from a reader and a post from Volokh Conspirator Dale Carpenter (h/t Andrew Sullivan) inform me of something that I didn’t know, and which makes McCain’s comment that much more reprehensible.
I had assumed that only married couples were allowed to adopt. Not so. Apparently most jurisdictions allow single people to adopt (which as a policy decision seems sound to me). So, as Carpenter says, McCain’s position is that one parent is better than two unless the two are of opposite sexes. Could there be a more gross insult to millions of our fellow-citizens?
Now as a practical matter, in tolerant jurisdictions, this might reduce the damage done by the underlying rule, since one or the other member of a same-sex couple might be able to adopt (depending on whether the private and public bureaucrats involved, and the courts, treat homosexuality as a disqualifying “character” objection). Of course, that would still leave the child with only one legally-recognized adoptive parent rather than two.
The good news is that 49 of 50 states do allow adoptions by single gay individuals; the exception is Florida. The bad news is that half of the states have adopted McCain’s heartless rule, allowing adoptions by single individuals but not by same-sex couples.