By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter
Some people seem to be confused about what constitutes discrimination.
Bill Hightower is one, which is unfortunate, since he’s a State Senator in Alabama and should know better. Rich Wingo is another who’s confused, and that’s just as unfortunate, since he’s a State Representative.
Both Hightower and Wingo are sponsors of the same bill – one that would, to hear them tell it, prevent discrimination against faith-based adoption agencies.
Because, see, some of these faith-based agencies would like to not place children with same-sex parents, despite the fact that those same-sex parents might be married, active participants in the same faith as the agency and financially and emotionally capable of providing a child with a loving, healthy home.
But these faith-based adoption agencies, ignoring all evidence and scientific data, have determined that what matters most is that the would-be parents are gay. So, they want to issue a blanket denial.
And Hightower and Wingo believe that not allowing the agencies to impose such a denial is discrimination.
To them, the agencies are the victims here.
In the same way the lunch counters were victims when they were forced to serve black customers.
How in the world could people living in Alabama, with all of its history and problems in the areas of discrimination and intolerance, still be so utterly clueless as to what constitutes both?
Because, boy, are they ever clueless.
Let me demonstrate.
When the discriminatory nature of this Legislation was mentioned in committee meetings, the response from the lawmakers who support this Legislation was, and I paraphrase slightly: “There are plenty of private adoption agencies out there that gay couples can use.”
When your argument is, “But it’s only a little bit of discrimination,” find another cause.
Let’s be clear: no one is discriminating against these faith-based agencies.
Quite the contrary, actually.
To facilitate their adoption programs – from which they make millions of dollars that goes back into their churches and programs – these faith-based agencies are treated no differently than private agencies. They are judged no differently. They aren’t required to adhere to any special standards.
But let’s be honest, this isn’t about religion. The same section of the Bible talking about homosexuality also orders people not to eat shellfish. Yet, you could finalize an adoption at any one of these faith-based agencies over a shrimp cocktail and a dozen raw oysters.
This is a personal issue. This is a group of people doing what we’ve always done in Alabama: fighting anything and anyone who is different.
And we’re apparently perfectly willing to place the welfare of children second in order to placate this awful bigotry.
Let me give you a glimpse of how that looks in real life.
During the debates on this bill, a man stood up and told lawmakers about his story. He was the successful attorney brother to an addict sister, who was on her way to losing her daughter. The brother and his husband were able to adopt that child and she has never known a day without love and care since.
Had the sister gone through a faith-based agency, with this law in place, none of that happens. Everyone is worse off.
That’s real discrimination.