Affect and action: the Christian Right v. gay adoption

“This has nothing to do with the kids”?
Nothing, that is, except that if the Christian Right position is adopted some kids who would otherwise have adoptive parents will instead be in foster care or in orphanages. Isn’t it bad enough to be heartless, without being dishonest to go with it?

And speaking of gay adoption, David Brody of CBN doesn’t usually seem to me like a bad person, or a fool. Mostly I can disagree with him while respecting his integrity. But this is really hard to swallow:

Social conservatives are saddened by children in foster care or orphanages too. So that’s not the issue. The debate over gay adoption is another matter entirely.


Being “saddened” is just cheap talk. What are they willing to do about it?

There are in fact kids in foster care and orphanages, and there aren’t in fact enough straight individuals and couples to adopt them all. Every gay family that gets turned down for adoption is one fewer home available to take kids out of those non-adoptive settings. So the debate over gay adoption isn’t at all “another matter.” Evidently Brody and his friends aren’t saddened enough by kids in orphanages to be willing to let them out if letting them out means adoption by gay couples.

That’s why I call their position (McCain’s clear position before he backed down, and sortakinda his position now, beyond a veil of “state’s rights”) heartless, and (assuming that the record of the Gospels is more or less accurate) doubt that Rabbi Yeshua would have held it. (Rabbi Shaoul, who changed his name to Paul after Rabbi Gamliel dumped him as a student, is a different question.)

If Brody and his friends want to say “Too bad about the kids, but it’s more important to us to show gay people how much we think God hates them than to give the kids a better life,” well, there you have it. But “This has nothing to do with the kids” is either an absurdity or a lie.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: