On Gay Adoption and Gay Parenting


cheney an mary cheney's baby.jpg
(Lynne and Dick Cheney hold Samuel David Cheney, the son of Mary Cheney and her wife, Heather Poe)
John McCain needs to come spend some time in my neighborhood in Dupont Circle in Washington. When I moved there about 13 years ago, the apartments and houses were mostly occupied by students, by single young professionals, and lots of gay men and women.
As time has moved on, many of the gay singles have been replaced by heterosexual and homosexual couples — quite a number of them with children. Mary Cheney and her growing family would fit right in. It’s fun to see the kids play together — and all the parents seem loving and attentive, across the board.
But while John McCain sees adoption as just fine for him — he opposes it for other same sex couples. This is old politics, old America, and is simply wrong.
My major difference with John McCain has been wrapped up in his foreign policy and national security views — but given the significant number of gay men and women who I know support John McCain — his views on gay adoption are out of step with reality, morality, and many of his closest supporters.
Obama has McCain beat on this issue of adoption — but both of them need to learn from many of our friends in Europe on the gay marriage issue.
— Steve Clemons


15 comments on “On Gay Adoption and Gay Parenting

  1. Mr.Murder says:

    Regardless of Cheney’s faults, it’s a great pic for them and their new arrival. Every baby shoould be fortunate to have that kind of support, nuture, health care…


  2. David says:

    K is correct. There are other factors that weigh more heavily in the well being of a child. I would also like to know how many messed up children come from a traditional husband-wife family. All of the ones I knew did.


  3. K says:

    deepike —
    Actually, nobody has proven any such thing. Granted that the “success” or “failure” of adoptive parenting are awfully hard to study, yet nobody of any academic stature has come up with anything that resembles “proof” that gays and lesbians are bad parents (or, of course, that heterosexuals are always good ones).
    I would also note that the American Academy of Pediatrics (I may have their name wrong, but I mean that primary group of physicians who work with children) fully support adoption by gays and lesbians, singly or in couples.


  4. Ruffian says:

    so no parent is better than 2 parents??
    maybe we should take the kids away from single parents and put them into orphanges too-after all your logic would lead to that….
    How can you deny a loving home because its not a perfect (in your mind) solution?
    Talk about hard hearted folks…..geesh


  5. deepika says:

    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


  6. Zathras says:

    For all the invective directed at Vice President Cheney, I always thought he got off fairly easy when he was actually a candidate for national office. I mean, a guy on a ticket trying to appeal to that part of the electorate that views gay marriage and so forth as repellent who regards that opinion and those voters with contempt has got to expect the other side in the campaign to at least needle him on the subject. Even 1980s-era national Democrats had enough sense to distance themselves from Jesse Jackson after the “Hymietown” remark when speaking trying to appeal to Jewish voters. Republicans then had enough sense to make it hard for people to forget what Jackson had said.
    But Cheney’s most violent detractors on the left have generally turned to mush when his family, and particularly his gay daughter, come up. It’s just not considered cricket to even raise the subject, except to communicate the message “oh how sweet.” Mary Cheney’s seven-figure book advance, which she couldn’t possibly have managed if her father were not Vice President, isn’t an issue either. Nor was his moving quickly in the first Bush term to put both his other daughter and his son-in-law on the government payroll, but let’s not pile on.
    All I can say is that a lot of people don’t think about politics in the same way I do. In my world, long rants about how Cheney or some other Bush administration official represents the advent of American fascism are just so much idle chatter, and a public official whose relatives profit from his position is a target. So are his relatives, and everything about them. There are a lot of liberals who just don’t care about foreign policy or the environment or anything else as much as they care about things like gay marriage, and maybe for those people it makes sense to complain about Cheney as Vice President but celebrate his tolerance of their great cause. That’s fine for them, but Cheney’s other detractors have got to know that he has walked all over them for almost eight years. This is one reason why.


  7. questions says:

    Every hospital blanket is the same — my kids were wrapped just like Samuel David. And in that little note is, in my view, the key to all of this. When we realize the basic sameness, we slowly chill out. It takes pushing from below (the activists), pushing from the image makers (how many tv shows, movies and books have made gays seem normal?), and having large numbers of people have direct experience (gay neighbors wheeling strollers), and eventually the elites feel that they can shift the policy. Elites like comfort and they like society to lead them instead of courageously taking an obvious stand like gay marriage and adoption is okay.
    The sad thing of course is that current policy does a profound injustice to current people, but change is in the air. The prejudices will melt away slowly. Remember, everyone’s (hospital-birthed) baby comes wrapped just the same way.


  8. Linda says:

    We totally agree and equally passionately. But I wasn’t talking about adoption at all.
    I was talking about legal names and the civil right in most states for anyone to change his/her legal name and to name their child anything they want with very few exceptions. It is very simple to do. So while only a symbolic gesture, in any state that does not allow gays/lesbians to adopt or marry, gay and lesbian parents could hyphenate both last names and also use that last name for their children. I think it is a symbolic way to protest, and I also think it might be good for the child to have both parents’ names.
    One only has to know a few (and I know a lot) gay and lesbian parents who are superb parents to delightful children, many of them of mixed races or handicapped or older, i.e., hard to adopt, to understand and appreciate the disgrace and abomination laws in most states are. Parenting is not about race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation. It is about loving, caring, and nuturing 24/7 every day.


  9. K says:

    Linda, you’re absolutely wrong. Virginia (and numerous other states) absolutely do not allow second-parent adoption. Heather has absolutely no legal parental rights in that child in Virginia, nor may she have any under Virginia law.
    Put another way, should Mary die next week, or in five years, or at any time while Samuel is still a minor, Dick and Lynne could probably go to court and get the kid because — I repeat — Heather Poe is a legal stranger to the child.
    That’s the way it is in Virginia and in most states in America, and that’s the way it will continue to be if John McCain has his way.


  10. Tahoe Editor says:

    At least Barack is keeping all his options open to keep his daughters from being “punished with a baby.”


  11. Linda says:

    Thanks, K, but in any state it is possible to legally change one’s name and put down any name one wants on a birth certificate. Though neither Poe-Cheney nor Cheney-Poe make terrific last names.
    I am taking your advice and voting for Obama because I have a grandson named Samuel.


  12. K says:

    It’s important to note that Dick and Lynne’s beloved grandchild has only one parent: Because Mary and Heather live in Virginia, Heather is a legal stranger to the little tot. Heather is not a parent on the birth certificate, nor may she be added as a parent under Virginia law.
    Dick on a few occasions indicated he doesn’t like how America treats his daughter, but he hasn’t been willing to fight for Mary’s rights in any way. Still, that makes him a titch better than McCain, doesn’t it.
    Vote for Obama in November, for little Samuel’s future.


  13. John B. says:

    It has always been a puzzle to me why a sognificant numbers of gay Americans have supported republican candidates like John McCain. Truly a mystery to me.


  14. Linda says:

    I am sure that the Cheneys love their grandson and assume that the caption under the photo is correct, i.e., he is officially named Samuel David Cheney. I have to feel just a little sorry for him as it is my hope that by the time he is old enough to be aware, he may not be so proud of that last name. Poe-Cheney might be better. Pun intended.


  15. Paul Norheim says:

    As everybody knows, this issue is indirectly related to Middle East
    foreign policy as well. A presidential candidate opposing
    adoption for same sex couples and gay marriage, secure the
    support from conservative evangelical Christians, and thus a more
    biased and destructive approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict


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