Republican presidential candidate John McCain opposes adoptions by gay parents. Last week in an interview with The New York Times he stated, “I think that we’ve proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no, I don’t believe in gay adoption.” A few days later he clarified his comment, stating that the issue should be decided by individual states.
I believe it is easier for a child to grow up in a home with two loving heterosexual parents, because it saves the child from the occasional unpleasant experience of having to explain why he or she has two mommies or two daddies. But surely that is small potatoes when compared with the alternative of keeping these children in orphanages where they have no loving parents to care for them. And, of course, having one loving parent is far better than two hateful parents, heterosexual or homosexual.
I’ve always been impressed that the adults I know who were raised by a single mother are well adjusted. They tell me they received all the parental love and attention any child could have wished for.
There are certainly adoptions that should never have occurred. We recently learned of a woman in Florida who adopted 11 children from New York City’s foster care system, apparently for the government subsidies that accompanied each adoption. She reportedly physically abused the children. A New York judge sentenced her to nearly 11 years in prison for abusing the children and for using false names and addresses to adopt them.
That outrage is in part the fault of the government for failing to engage in adequate oversight of her and the children. There are predators, both straight and gay, but I believe that overwhelming straight or gay adoptive parents love their children.
John McCain, who is a very decent man and himself an adoptive parent, should re-examine his position, and not simply fall back on the defense that it is a state issue. While I agree that adoption is and should be regulated by states rather than the federal government, that is not the point. The point is that being adopted by a single gay or lesbian or gay couple is far better for a child than growing up in an orphanage.
According to The New York Times, “Currently only Florida has a broad ban on gay adoptions.” South Beach residents should make this issue a priority in the next state election.
New Policy for N.Y. Police
After the 2006 police shooting of Sean Bell, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly adopted a new policy, requiring that on-or off-duty police officers who shoot anyone must submit to a breath analysis test to ascertain their sobriety at the time of the shooting. That policy, which according to The New York Times does not demand a zero score, is a wise safeguard. The Police Department will then judge whether the conduct of a cop who has been drinking was consistent with his obligations as a member of the force.
On July 13, off-duty police detective Ivan Davison was accused of wounding a man outside a nightclub in St. Albans, Queens. His sobriety test revealed his blood-alcohol level to be slightly over the legal limit for driving, and he was suspended from the force.
An examination of the incident revealed that detective Davison attempted to intervene when he saw a man being beaten by a group of individuals outside the club. After being shot at by one of the men, he identified himself as a police officer and returned fire. The 22-year-old gunman, Stephon Allston, was struck in the leg and the arm. Detective Davison was reinstated and commended by Commissioner Kelly for his bravery. I believe that was a good outcome and the public apparently agrees.
Golden Age of Race Relations
Most people I know, blacks and whites (admittedly more whites), believe as I do that race relations have never been better. If we talk of conditions facing the traditional minorities, blacks, Hispanics, Jews, and gays, I believe we are living in a Golden Age.
A black man, Sen. Barack Obama, is running for president and is considered to be the favorite. A Jew, Sen. Joe Lieberman, ran for vice president on Al Gore’s presidential ticket and appeared to be more popular than Gore. Hispanics are currently being wooed by both parties as the most essential bloc of voters in the presidential election capable of determining its outcome.
Recognition of gay rights is rising. Same-sex marriages are recognized in both California and Massachusetts and a number of other states accept “civil unions” for gays.
However, a disturbing article appeared in The New York Times on July 16. It stated, “Nearly 60 percent of black respondents said race relations were generally bad, compared with 34 percent of whites. Four in 10 blacks say that there has been no progress in recent years in eliminating racial discrimination; fewer than 2 in 10 whites say the same thing.”
Some whites and blacks believe that blacks are making a grave mistake when they constantly assert that they remain victims instead of recognizing the huge changes in America which now has a population that is 75 percent white. Two African-Americans among many who epitomize the huge success of blacks today are Oprah Winfrey and Tiger Woods. They are now among the wealthiest and most respected people in the nation and abroad.
Whites engaging in racist acts or racially discriminatory rhetoric do so at their peril, including loss of their jobs. Bizarrely, it was Jesse Jackson who recently used the N-word and ended criticism of himself with a simply apology. No white could ever have managed that.
Some whites point out that Obama will probably receive more than 90 percent of the black vote in November. To be fair, when Jack Kennedy ran for president in 1960, he received 80 percent of the Catholic vote. On the other hand, Jews in New York voted predominately for Hugh Carey, a Catholic, in the Democratic primary against Howard Samuels, a Jew, in the 1974 gubernatorial race.
That same Times article reported, “Black and white Americans agree that America is ready to elect a black president,” yet a majority of blacks in the same poll believe race relations are bad.
Every one of us, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sex or sexual orientation, should get down on our knees every day and thank the Lord that we live in this country and receive his or her bounty. Surely, there is room for improvement in the way racial and ethnic minorities are treated, but there is no denying that significant progress has been made.
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