Testimony Promoted Biblical Values
Note: This is the draft used by John Yeats, LBC director of communications, for his testimony before the Louisiana House Health and Welfare Committee. He was unable to include all his comments due to the time consumed by the proponents propaganda film supporting gay marriage and second parenting.
Louisiana Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention are on record via the resolutions process in support of adoption. In my own family, four of my seven grandchildren are adopted.
This bill is an amendment to the Louisiana intra-family adoption statutes. Intra-family adoption is that streamlined process designed to help families create permanent, stable, familiar environments for children. Many of our Baptist families have used this provision to solidify their families. Baptists would normally be super-supportive of this process.
However, our problem with the bill (HB 738) rests with the terminology. The phrase “second parent” is code for adoption by gay, lesbian and trans-gendered individuals who seek “normalcy” and cultural acceptance for their sexual behavior. They recognize this is a procedural move to ultimately bring down our Louisiana Marriage definition of one man and one woman established by Constitutional amendment in 2004 by 78% of voters. If HB 738 had been adopted, it created a legal procedure that allows two people who are not married to each other to jointly adopt a child. We are opposed to such a measure.
Children need the opportunity to have a “mommy” and a “daddy”. The primary concern of adoption law should always be the best interest of the child. This measure seeks to place the emotional desires of adults above those interests. To quote the governor of another state that wrestled with this issue, “Children are not puppies.” Adoption is not the time for a social engineering experiment. These children need stable, solid, positive family relationships.
What we are experiencing is described by Thomas Sowell (A Conflict of Visions) as a struggle between “constrained” and “unconstrained” visions of humanity. The fundamental distinction between these two visions is moral, but the thrust of each is ideological. The constrained vision may be considered basically conservative, while the unconstrained vision is basically liberal.
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president, Al Mohler picks up on Sowell’s assessment and says, “This is certainly true with reference to the political struggle over same-sex marriage. There is no real ground for compromise between these two visions and perspectives. Both sides frame their argument in moral terms. Advocates of the constrained vision argue that humanity is heterosexual by default and design and that homosexuality is thus an aberration to be sanctioned and discouraged. Advocates of the unconstrained vision argue that homosexuality is just one among several acceptable options for humanity.”
“Those opposed to “second parent” adoption see family as an essentially heterosexual institution that is fundamental to human happiness, a safe haven for children and essential to the well-being of civilization. Those who support same-sex marriage and “second parenting” see our current laws and family definitions as obstacles to their human happiness and autonomy that must be either destroyed or radically revised,” Mohler said.
Elected officials are in the uncomfortable position of attempting to find middle ground on many issues. The problem with this issue is there is no middle ground. The opposing sides see the potential of our culture from two very diverse perspectives.
One perspective is based on the solid footing of principle and history. The other perspective is based on relativism. To conservatives, such as the vast majority of Louisiana Baptists, a bill such as HB 738 that legitimizes “second parents” is a mortal blow directed at the very heart of the culture.
We care about homosexual people and many of our churches are engaged in and support ministries to help gay people in their journey. The proponents used a film and testimony from gay people who have encountered many parenting problems including difficulties acquiring birth certificates, school enrollment and medical/insurance privacy issues. There are also problems with procedures relating to Social Security benefits. These are serious and emotional challenges but these challenges are also part of the consequences to their choices.
We understand that we conservative Christians are the bulwark of opposition to same-sex marriage, “second parents” and stealth bills such as HB738. But we must respectfully oppose any measure that grants normalcy to their behavior.
The pastors and churches that asked me to monitor these issues would respectfully request you move to defer HB 738.
Note: We are grateful that our argument prevailed on May 19, 2010. Rep. John LaBruzzo, Metaire, La moved to defer. The motion passed without opposition.