Thursday, March 10, 2016

UPDATED::Critics: Utah bill favoring heterosexual parents in adoptions is ‘unconstitutional’ – LGBTQ Nation

UPDATE::   Utah lawmakers postpone vote on bill to allow adoption by gay couples
This sounds like Huckabee's failed Dred Scott argument,

Brent Platt, the director of Utah‘s child welfare agency, said the department supported the bill because it would make the state’s adoption and foster care law conform to with federal law.

The committee’s chairman, Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper, interrupted to point out that same-sex marriage is legal by case law, which means it is legal by court ruling as opposed to a law passed by Congress.

“I’m talking about the Supreme Court decision,” Platt responded.

“One decision,” Christensen said. “I’m trying to be clear.”

Legislation that would require Utah judges to favor heterosexual couples over same-sex couples in adoptions or foster care placements is blatantly unconstitutional and won’t hold up in court, according to gay rights advocates.

Rep. Kraig Powell, R-Heber City, said Friday that last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage doesn’t stop Utah from keeping a preference in state law that a child have a married mother and father.

Powell said his bill would not apply to private adoptions and would only involve children in state custody.

In those cases, he said a judge would “follow what’s been traditional and proven in society, that there’s a father and a mother and that gender diversity will be a broadening experience for the child.”

Powell said a same-sex couple would be given preference in an adoption or foster placement if they had a relationship with the child, such as being family members or neighbors.
Equality Utah Executive Director Troy Williams said Powell’s proposal is clearly unconstitutional.

“Gay parents have equal protection now under the law,” he said. “Any effort by Rep. Powell to roll back the rights and liberties of LGBT Utahns will be met with fierce resistance from our community.”
The Supreme Court ruling did not explicitly address the issue that Powell is raising but did declare that same-sex couples have a right to marriage and all the rights and benefits enjoyed by married heterosexual couples, said Douglas NeJaime, faculty director of the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.

Critics: Utah bill favoring heterosexual parents in adoptions is ‘unconstitutional’ – LGBTQ Nation

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