Ariz. Gov. Signs Anti-Gay Adoption Bill
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill that gives preferential treatment to married couples when it comes to adoption. Because Arizona prohibits gay and lesbian families from accessing marriage rights, the new law effectively discriminates against same-sex couples, critics charge.
The new law "gives preference to married couples in the adoption process--at the exclusion of same-sex couples and single adults who wish to provide a loving home to children," an April 19 Human Rights Campaign news release said. "The bill applies to public and private adoption agencies."
"Arizona’s children and youth suffered a major defeat when this discriminatory bill was signed into law," Ellen Kahn, the HRC’s HRC Family Project Director, said.
"At a time when far too many children are in need of a loving forever home, this new law limits the number of families available to them... It’s shameful that politics trumps the needs of children."
Added Kahn, "Arizona’s children deserve better. We must do everything possible to remove barriers to permanent families, and Governor Brewer just built a new wall.
"Years of research, public opinion, and the child welfare profession conclude that these discriminatory laws are not in the best interest of the children. They simply delay or deny access to stable, loving homes and force kids to languish in the foster care system."
"The governor’s action today is harmful to children in foster care and group homes who are seeking a permanent home and the support of a loving, caring family," agreed Equality Arizona chair Tom Mann, reported the Arizona Republic in an April 20 article.
Anti-gay groups, such as the Center for Arizona Policy, hailed the bill as a victory for "critical issues of life, marriage and religious liberty."
The law states that "the Department of Economic Security and private adoption agencies must place a child with a married couple if all other factors (regarding single or same sex parents) are equal," noted the Phoenix Family Law News Blog on April 13, prior to the bill’s signing.
Despite Gov. Brewer’s signing of the law and of over 200 other Republican-sponsored bills, the fact that she vetoed a handful of measures left some grumbling that she was not a "real conservative," an April 20 Associated Press article reported.
"They wanted her to OK bills on school choice and religious rights, among others, as well as one that would have made the state the first to require presidential candidates to prove their natural born citizenship to get on the ballot," the AP report said.
Another bill that Brewer axed proposed allowing guns on college campuses. Brewer refused to allow the bill to become law, saying that it’s unclear language might have opened a legal loophole allowing guns to be brought into elementary and high schools.
State Sen. Ron Gould sponsored the guns on campus bill. He accused Brewer of presiding over the state under false ideological pretenses. "It’s kind of disappointing because we’re going to see this year that Brewer is not a conservative," he asserted.
Other GOP lawmakers acknowledged that Brewer was an ally to the Republican cause. "We’ve had a lot more signed than we’ve had lost," said the House majority leader, State Rep. Andy Tobin.
"Brewer also has yet to get an anti-abortion bill she won’t sign," the AP article noted.