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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by leekohler, Oct 26, 2007.
Wow- this is really kind of scary:
The events are tragic, and the decision doesn't really involve the state as long as he doesn't molest kids.
The only disagreement I have is that the lawwas likely targetting unmarried couples of the hetero variety more than homo. I imagine the law was in place before gay marriage was ever a hot button issue.
One to follow on Monday definitely. I have a feeling that life is going to get a lot noisier still for the Valdez family, especially if the judge does rule the kids can stay.
I'm sorry but theirs no way that will hold up. Do these judges have any common sense?
Why don't they get the kids a room with their mother in the rehabilitation clinic, that would be so much better for the kids.
The article prefers setting up a lovely seen than factual article writing though.
I don't really think you meant this, but please stop associating homosexuality with pedophilia. I'm really getting tired of people doing that.
I'm not sure. I'll have to look into it.
I think the article seems fairly accurate. It is an AP article and believe it or not, gay people have kids and the families are pretty normal. So what is your stance on this? It isn't clear from your post.
The law is well intended, but this is another unfortunate problem you run into when there isn't some sort of legal equivalent for gay marriage.
To be fair, it's common in child custody agreements to have clauses that when the children are with a parent, overnight guests of a romantic but non-marital nature are not permitted. Granted, this isn't exactly the case here, but there is a parallel in that the state is taking an active interest in where the children are living while their mother is indisposed. That being said, I don't see the fact that the uncle is gay of having any relevance, as the authorities would most likely take similar issue if the uncle was straight and shacking up with a woman.
Sorry, I wasn't trying to equate anything with pedophilia. I just meant that as long as a parent isn't housing their kid with a pedophile, I don't think the state should get involved. Well, if guy is a child beater, that would be a problem too. I suppose recent events in my area just have me really on edge regarding child molestors.
In response to Leekohlers question I honestly don't know, I kind of agree with the above quote but agree it does look fairly homophobic in this particular light. I should mention I'm gay myself, not that it matters but the way in which its written does have a strong impact on the readers initial response I reckon. Whether the couple are nice people is irrelevant if there is a law to protect the children entering a 'non-stable' home so to speak.
"Overnight guests of a romantic nature" are a totally different thing from a long-term partner, whatever the sexuality involved. I do object to this idea that any couple who are married are more "suitable" than those that aren't when it comes to children.
Of course it's going to be spun to be an assault on gay sensibility or whatever you want to call it; just look at the source. The Advocate has an agenda just like everyone else.
That being said, whats the criteria for labelling this as discrimination? Just because a gay man is involved doesn't pass that bar. As I alluded to above, if the uncle were straight and had a live-in girlfriend, he probably wouldn't be allowed to keep the children either. The article only mentions the regulation that speaks to cohabitation, and that's not a gay-only or straight-only arrangement. I've even heard of cases in my neck of the woods where custody became a problem for one party merely having a different-gender albeit non-sexual roommate.
It's not an Advocate article, it's an Associated Press article. The website was just the first place I saw it. If the AP has an agenda, I don't know what it is.
And of course it's discrimination. Gays can't be married, so how the hell is this uncle supposed to live up to their standards in this case? I think that's what a lot of people here are missing.
Exactly. It doesn't matter how stable the family are, they can never meet the right criteria according to the current legislation.
I missed the AP tag normally included, all I saw at the top was "An Advocate.com exclusive posted October 25, 2007". Searches of www.ap.com for "Valdez", "Yeung", and "Utah" yielded no results.
Show me a case in Utah where a non-married, cohabitating straight couple was allowed to foster a child and I'll concede your point.
Interesting. It seems the article has been updated. I'll try to find the original AP piece. EDIT- strange, it must have been mislabeled before. You are right.
As to your second point- show me a legally gay married couple in Utah and I'll concede yours. It absolutely has everything to do with discrimination if the two persons involved aren't even allowed to meet the requirements n the first place.
If the law is being applied equally across criteria X, then you can't argue discrimination. The Utah DCFS doesn't have a sign out front that says "Homos need not apply," merely "Non-married couples need not apply," which applies to straight and gay alike. While I'm still waiting for some response from you regarding unmarried straight couples being allowed to foster, I'll check and raise: would there be a fuss if the uncle were single, and if so, why, sexuality not withstanding?
I wasn't aware this debate was about gay marriage, I thought it was about four kids in Utah who need a place to stay while the mom tries to clean herself up. You also seem to think that I'm somehow against this - I'm not. So long as the kids are being well cared for and looked after, I could care less where the uncle likes to put his weiner. Once kids go into The System and are placed with strangers, it's damn hard to get them back; I'm all for keeping families together if at all possible; it makes it much easier on the kids in the long run.
What I am tired of hearing, though, is the inference that anything bad that happens to a minority is because they're a minority.
I don't think that your against it.
But how is a law equally applied if one group is not allowed to meet the requirements? It definitely has something to do with marriage. If gay couples aren't allowed to marry, which is already an inequity, then how does that make this law fair? Shouldn't their be some sort of exception made? If not, I'd like to know why, when gays are forbidden to marry in the first place.
The problem is is that the law in its current form disproportionately affects gay couples. In a sense, it's similar to former "grandfather" laws that were used in the South after the Civil War. A gay couple has no way of getting married, and as such, they have no way of participating in this system: a catch 22 if you ask me.
Frankly, the state really shouldn't care the marital or other status of the guardian. As long as the guardian doesn't have a criminal record or a previous problem with drugs/alcohol, then they should be perfectly able to care for a child for a few months while the biological mother is in rehab.
Here are the requirements for being a foster parent in the state of Utah:
It seems the only thing standing in the uncle's way is the fact that he's living with his boyfriend. If he was single, or not living with his boyfriend, it wouldn't be an issue and we never would have heard about him.
Yes, but can't you see the inherent inequality in that? All gay couples, by definition, are unmarried. On the other hand, a great percentage of straight couples are married, and have the legal avenues for marriage if they so decide. Gay couples, who would otherwise be just fine as guardians, are excluded simply because they CAN'T get married, while straight couples that aren't married are excluded because they CHOOSE not to be married. Big difference.
Actually, no, unless there's some requirement that you can't be gay unless you play house with your squeeze. If they were living apart it would be just fine in the eyes of this requirement of Utah's DCFS.
I'm going to speculate a bit on the reasoning behind this requirement. Utah is a very pro-family state - probably has something to do with being about 3/5 Mormon by population. Married couples are likely seen there as more stable than non-married couples - it's a lot easier to dissolve shacking up than it is to dissolve a marriage. Foster kids need stability and not precariousness. Ergo, married couples probably make better foster parents. I'm neither endorsing nor condemning this argument, just trying to get in the minds of the DCFS.
But once again, this is not about gay marriage. This is about what's best for foster kids. It's really slimy to use their plight to advance a political agenda, whatever it may be.
You've missed why it's unequal towards gay couples, but that's beyond this now.
The point is, the state has no compelling interest in removing that child from the uncle's home, because they have a stable life and seem like a perfectly great set of foster parents.
i would hate to be that kid...
No, I didn't miss it, I just find your argument lacking.
Actually, the state does have a compelling interest. Physical custody resides with the fostering family, but the state is the legal guardian of the children once they enter the foster system. The state is required to see to "the best interest of the child(ren)", and in the state's current opinion, that means not living with an unmarried couple.
Well, neither of us will go very far trying to argue that point, so let's leave it as moot.
Ok, I take back my previous word choice. The state does have a compelling interest in looking after the welfare of the children, but it does not have a legitimate reason for excluding non-married couples. The reason employed by the State of Utah at this time is, as you pointed out earlier, based largely upon religious practice rather than empirical analysis. In the 21st Century, this should not be happening.