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Dr. J. seriously misrepresented by the Kalamazoo Gazette [Updated]

Well, thank goodness I never blogged about this before seeing the follow-up, though it's taken me a long time to run across the follow-up.

I did, however, make a comment at Facebook to one person (and all his friends who could read the comment) and to at least one person in person (I can't remember who it was, though), about this story, taking the Gazette's report at face value. I now regret doing this and am using this post to set the record straight as far as possible.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, of the Rutherford Institute, is a well-known Catholic and conservative writer and speaker. [Update and correction: Dr. Morse is actually with the Ruth Institute, a completely separate organization from the Rutherford Institute.] I believe she's known as "Dr. J." and will refer to her that way here.

This past October she spoke at a Catholic high school, and the local newspaper reported that she expressed support both for civil unions and for homosexual adoption.

Today, looking up the link to that story with the intention of sending it to someone on e-mail, I was arrested by seeing in the Google summary that Dr. J. had responded in comments to the story and was saying that the story was causing confusion about her views. That's for sure! I would be hoppin' mad if a newspaper had misrepresented my views in that way.

I cannot imagine where the "Kalamazoo Gazette staff" got the idea that Dr. J. supports either civil unions or homosexual adoption. In her correction to the story, she makes it amply clear that she emphatically does not support civil unions. She even says that supporting civil unions but opposing homosexual "marriage" is a dodge.

On homosexual adoption, it's possible (but this is conjecture) that she and I would differ on the individual circumstances in which, as she says, "the best parent for a particular child may be a relative who is gay." This seems highly implausible to me; in fact, I'd be inclined to say that the only situations in which a child will be best off cared for a homosexual person would be strange, desert island circumstances that are enormously unlikely to arise in real life. I think there is an enormous problem if the person in question is sexually active, and I think that homosexual activity is a legitimate complaint to bring up in challenging a custody award or arrangement. So she and I probably have some disagreement here.

However, her overall comments about homosexual adoption make it clear that she does not think such situations are the norm and that she favors discrimination against homosexuals in adoption. She is certainly not generally in favor of homosexual adoption. All of this is clean contrary to what the Gazette reported.

I hope that Dr. J. has had good success in correcting the Gazette's serious misrepresentations, and I regret my small part in passing them on to individuals.

Comments (7)

I'm thinking that given the number of single or one-sibling families we have, the likelihood that the only relative that is of an age to take care of a kid being a homosexual goes up. (still incredibly small, but it exists) We're now, what, three generations in to the "1.8 kids and a dog" setup? I know most of the folks I've spoken to aren't every involved with any family beyond the children of uncles and aunts.

Much more comfortable with it being linked to family rather than traditional adoption. (Er, what's traditionally thought of when we say adoption, I should say-- I think kin-adoptions are actually more common in history than today in the US....)

I agree that connecting it to relatives makes it make more sense, but I still think the homosexuality, particularly if active, should rightly be taken into account as a negative factor. If mother and dad are killed in an auto accident and you have a twenty-something sibling and, say, a ten-year-old sibling, unless the twenty-something sibling has been designated guardian in the parents' will, the state is going to be evaluating the sibling's fitness as a legal guardian in any event. After all, there could be a _ton_ of reasons why a young adult sibling might not be a fit guardian, including even heterosexual promiscuity (for example). So active homosexuality would be, as I think things should be evaluated, just one possible (and not very common) potentially disqualifying factor.

Foxfier, I know of 2 kin-adoptions, one recent and one one generation back. Given that I only know the specifics on about 10 adoptions, that's a pretty significant number.

I also believe that we are only 2 generations into the small family - at most. The 40's to early 60's saw the boomer generation, and the norm there was quite a lot higher than 1.8 kids. During the late 60's to around 1990 or so, the average size of families gradually dropped down to around 2.1 kids, but where the couple intended to actually have kids the average was still higher if I recall stats properly. I don't think that we really hit below 2 until the most recent generation.

We'd have to look at...oh, bother, I can't remember if it's median or mean that means "the most common number" in a group, as opposed to the numerical average.
I know there are groups that average 4+ kids to a couple to this day, if you remove them from the raw data and remove those who don't have children; a lot of folks have swallowed the "one to replace mom, one to replace dad" theory, or the "save the earth, have only one" theory.

I was mostly pointing at the stereotype "perfect family"-- which was definitely around in the late 60s! From the not-technically-random sampling of the other geeks in our group on the ship, having more than four uncles and aunts (including by marriage) was very unusual. (Outside of the PI.)

I know of one kinship adoption a few generations back (two, technically, but one case) and a huge number (I really am not sure how many-- just as I can't count up exactly how many of those I know have one or no siblings) of not-related. (Largely from China, the PI, or Russia, etc.)


Median = the middle number (5 in 3,4,5,6,7)

Mean = the average (6 in 2, 10)

Mode = the most common (7 in 4,5,6,7,7,7,8).

Stat class finally paying off!

"This seems highly implausible to me; in fact, I'd be inclined to say that the only situations in which a child will be best off cared for a homosexual person would be strange, desert island circumstances that are enormously unlikely to arise in real life."

So it's better for a child to remain in and age out of the foster care system at 18 and wind up on the street?

Al, you could say that about almost anything--a cocaine addict, for example, _might_ be able to provide a child with care that would in some sense or in some ways be better than the child's being in the foster care system. One can think of all manner of manifestly unfit guardians who, nonetheless, might inspire the affection of a child and might, one way or another, provide a child with a sense of "belonging-ness" that the child would not have in the foster care system. Use your imagination, and I think you'll see that I'm right. Nonetheless, the state rightly wouldn't, or at least I think we can agree shouldn't, place a child with a known cocaine addict.

My point is not that a sexually active homosexual is like a cocaine addict in a whole bunch of respects. My point is just that the supposedly devastating riposte, "Oh, are you saying the child would be better off in the foster care system," etc., doesn't look so devastating once one realizes that, if we treat being in the foster care system as _so bad_ as to override all manner of other considerations of fitness for guardianship, we're going to loosen up our standards very seriously and wrongly.

So it really comes down to the question of whether a person's regularly having homosexual sodomy partners in the home is or isn't prima facie disqualifying of that person for being chosen as a guardian in the event that the state has to make such a decision. Talking about the evils of the foster care system, of which I'm well aware, doesn't answer this. Naturally, what I'm going to say is that the child should have a guardian and a home chosen for him that _doesn't have this drawback_, just as it shouldn't have plenty of other drawbacks that are already taken into account. And that's what you would say about bringing drug addicts into the guardian pool. So really, the "leaving them in foster care forever" card is weak.

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