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Family Lobby Day set for May 11

By |2006-04-05T09:00:00-04:00April 5th, 2006|Uncategorized|

LANSING – Michigan families will take to the Capitol on Tues. May 11 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to lobby their legislators on behalf of LGBT families.
Bev Davidson of Coalition for Adoption Rights Equality said it is important for legislators to see gay families and put a face on this issue and she added that often in the debate about LGBT people having children or adopting, the point of view of the child gets lost.
“While this really does affect gay parents and gay people this is so about the kids. Because if I, as an adult, lose a child, I have more resources to deal with my grief because I’m a grownup,” said Davidson, “but kids don’t.”
Family Lobby Day is intentionally scheduled to take place right after Mother’s Day and comes at a time when there are a number of anti-gay bills facing the Michigan legislature, including HB 5690 and HB 5691. These two bills would make it more difficult for LGBT people to adopt in the state. Another bill that has yet to be introduced would ban second-parent adoption in Michigan altogether. The state House is expected to introduce this bill for a vote in the current session.
Davidson said these bills hurt families with children. “I think it’s just a really hidden way of ensuring that private agencies can discriminate against gay and lesbian people who want to foster or adopt children,” she said. Although some agencies already refuse to take applications from homosexuals, she said, writing it into the adoption code is another thing. “We need to create permanency for kids and stop child abuse and neglect,” she said, stating that these issues are what need immediate attention.
In addition, the Michigan House just passed the Contentious Objector Status Act which allows a health care provider to refuse to treat LGBT patients and anti-gay marriage foes are working to gather signatures to put the issue of amending the Michigan constitution to ban marriage rights for same-sex couples on the Nov. 2004 ballot.
“It’s an opportunity for the LGBT community, their families, and allies to be seen and heard in Lansing particularly around same-sex family needs in terms of adoption rights and for kids,” said Davidson. She added that families could take this opportunity to educate legislators about what second-parent adoption is and why it is in the best interest of children.
Family Lobby Day is sponsored by CARE, American Friends Service Committee, Triangle Foundation, Michigan Equality, the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, Lesbian Moms Network and the Papa Dad’s Network, PFLAG, the Midland Unitarian Universalist Church.

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