Rep. John Stahl
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Because I said so.” It usually came from the mouth of one of our parents when the child we once were challenged their authority by asking, “Why?” As a child, I never quite bought that response as an answer. I certainly no longer buy it as an adult; especially when it is coming from an elected representative.
And yet that’s the answer that Rep. John Stahl (R-Lapeer) deems sufficient to give Michigan citizens when asked why we should let adoption agencies refuse to place children in a home if doing so offends the agency’s religious or moral principles. Not only that, but we should let these agencies keep their licenses and state funding, too.
According to Stahl, who happens to be the bill’s sponsor, he’s gotten letters and phone calls from agencies just quakin’ in their boots over this issue, so afraid are they that the big, bad liberal State of Michigan is going to force them to place children into homes reeking of sin. Especially the homes of homos.
But when asked at last week’s Family and Children Services hearing to provide any proof that these complaints, in fact, exist, Stahl balked. No, he said, you can’t see any proof; you’re just going to have to take my word on it.
Well, I don’t.
Stahl emphasized repeatedly during the hearing that this bill was pre-emptive. “I want to be preventative, pre-emptive,” he said at the hearing. “Why do we have to wait for all hell to break loose?”
Personally, I’m a little sick of right-wing legislators enacting “pre-emptive” legislation aimed at LGBT people. When Michigan legislators took up the marriage amendment issue there was no serious push for equal marriage in Michigan. There was no looming court case that made same-sex matrimony look like it was just around the corner. Anti-gay legislators were being “pre-emptive” to stop this “what if” scourge. What if the gays get the right to marry? What if the gays get the right to adopt children? What if the gays get the right to make funeral decisions for each other or other rights we think only heterosexual people should have? What hasn’t begun must be stopped!
Bear in mind that the Bush administration was being pre-emptive when it invaded Iraq. And that is going swimmingly.
Also testifying at last week’s committee hearing was Romy Crawford from the office of anti-gay stalwart Rep. Scott Hummel (R-DeWitt). She, too, used the “P” word. She also used the sad case of Boston Catholic Charities in Massachusetts to bolster her argument for Stahl’s bill. Boston Catholic Charities, you see, decided that instead of continuing its work finding homes for hard to place kids it would close up shop so it didn’t have to place them with queers. The organization’s decision was a shameful one rooted in cowardice and prejudice, and it’s being held up as an example of why we need Stahl’s backwards bill.
Don’t wait for all hell to break loose before contacting Stahl toll-free at 1-866-JStahl-82 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.