Once again, the religious right is using faith as a rationale to impose policy on the masses.
This time, the Georgia Senate has overwhelmingly passed legislation to make it legal for adoption agencies receiving taxpayer funding to refuse to work with same-sex couples on the grounds of religious liberty. Of course, this is nothing new.
Conservatives have spent election cycle after election cycle rallying against the dangers of big government while ardently voting to dictate what a woman can or cannot do with her body.
They are so concerned with making sure kids have a mother and father to raise them but then turn a blind eye to how their denial about climate change is destroying the planet.
When allies of the president of the United States pay off porn stars and Playboy Playmates, apparently to hide the president’s extramarital affairs, social conservatives are suddenly M.I.A.
And when a credibly accused serial child sex predator runs for Senate in Alabama, those “family values” evaporate in favor of political expediency.
The hypocrisy is stunning.
But now, more than anything, what I really don’t understand is how anyone who claims to be “pro-life” could possibly support a policy that restricts someone’s ability to adopt? You would think, given their stance on abortion, that they’d be the very first to encourage people from all walks of life to adopt.
Instead, they are using the issue of adoption as another front in their culture war, another chance to sow divisiveness and codify their brand of discrimination.
As an adoptee, the one thing I know is that it couldn’t matter less if you are adopted by a man, woman, husband and wife, husband and husband, wife and wife or any other possible combination of identities. It does not matter in the least. What matters is love.
Once you permit this sort of discrimination in the process, there’s no telling where it will stop.
We see examples every day of married men and women who fail as parents. We see examples every day of marriages that fail. Clinging to the arcane notion that only straight, married couples are properly equipped to be good parents is just plain silly.
My adopted parents’ marriage ended before I was in elementary school, but I know that I am living such a better life than the one I was born into. That life has nothing to do with being adopted by a man or a woman, by a married couple or a single person.
I’ve been asked many times in my life if I’ve ever had the desire to meet my biological parents, and my answer is always the same. Outside of perhaps wanting to know my family medical history, not at all. Anyone can have a child. It is an entirely different thing to love a child and raise a child.
What matters is ensuring that all children get a chance at life with a parent or parents who will put them first and love them unconditionally.
Allowing faith-based adoption agencies to deny placing a child with people whose identity they disagree with is an act of selfishness that is doing the exact opposite of what any responsible parent should do: put the needs of the child first.
Once you permit this sort of discrimination in the process, there’s no telling where it will stop. What if a faith-based group doesn’t want to allow a single parent or unwed couple or mixed-race couple to adopt?
For those who would say this won’t preclude same-sex couples from using non-religious adoption agencies, I would say they need to carefully re-examine what it means to be a person of faith. Deuteronomy 10:18 tells us: “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.”
With every applicant they turn away, they are robbing an innocent child of a willing parent who wants to love it. Who wants to care for it. Who wants to give it the chance to live a life where anything is possible. I can’t think of anything less Christian than denying an innocent child that kind of life and love.
Then again, these are the same leaders in faith who have no problem supporting Donald Trump.
Kurt Bardella is a political commentator and HuffPost columnist. He is a former spokesperson for Reps. Brian Bilbray and Darrell Issa, Sen. Olympia Snowe, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @kurtbardella.