Those Southern states are killing me, folks. As if things aren’t already difficult enough for gay and lesbian couples in most states, Louisiana has joined the bandwagon yet again.
Louisiana’s House Civil Law and Procedure Committee voted 9-2 against HB 1801 on Tuesday. The bill, proposed by New Orleans Rep. Jared Brossett, would have allowed adoptions by lesbian and gay couples as well as other unmarried couples. Specifically, the bill proposed to allow adoptions by people who aren’t related to a child by blood but live in the same home and establish a relationship with the child.
News sources report that supporters feel people should be encouraged to adopt children if they can offer loving homes and secure environments while opponents say unmarried couples are unstable and the bill could tie children to boyfriends or girlfriends who don’t stay in a relationship long-term.
With so many children out there wishing for loving homes, I never understand why lawmakers fight adoption by same-sex couples as hard as they do. The opponents decrying such adoptions likely haven’t yet figured out that the only reason there are unmarried same-sex couples in Louisiana (many of whom would likely be married) is because Louisiana has yet to legalize same-sex marriage. As for unmarried heterosexual couples, well, they can easily overcome this bar to adoption by tying the knot.
Louisiana voters approved the anti-gay state constitutional amendment 1 on September 18, 2004, that banned same-sex marriages and civil unions but did not ban domestic partnerships. Oh yippee.
As it stands, the Louisiana Civil Code prohibits same-sex couples from contracting to marry, and prohibits the recognition of purported same-sex marriages from other states. Yippee again.
Section 15 of the Louisiana State Constitution (the DOMA clause) reads:
§15. Defense of Marriage
Section 15. Marriage in the state of Louisiana shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman. No official or court of the state of Louisiana shall construe this constitution or any state law to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any member of a union other than the union of one man and one woman. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized. No official or court of the state of Louisiana shall recognize any marriage contracted in any other jurisdiction which is not the union of one man and one woman.
Added by Acts 2004, No. 926, §1, approved September 18, 2004, eff. October 19, 2004.
Wake up, Louisiana. It’s 2012!
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copyright 2012 Irene C. Olszewski