Saturday, August 04, 2007

US Federal Court Upholds Parents' Rights

One of the criteria that Outright uses for its candidate surveys (and evaluation of other parties' candidates) is their stance on anti-gay adoption and anti parental rights laws.

Oklahoma was one of the worst offenders. Its law invalidating same-sex parental adoptions included a provision that nullified the rights of parents who adopted in other states. In other words, if two same-gender parents who adopted in Illinois were passing through Oklahoma, their parental rights are completely nullified the moment they cross the Oklahoma state line. Parents could (and sometimes did) have their children seized from them by the state government.

Fortunately for US citizens (and unfortunately for anti-gay control freaks), the Constitution's Full Faith and Credit clause does not allow state governments to exercise this level of assault on our rights. Lambda Legal upheld that important principle with a victory in federal court -- striking down the Oklahoma law in question:

In a 35-page decision, a panel of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit rejected the Oklahoma Department of Health's challenge to a lower court decision striking down an Oklahoma law so extreme that it threatened to make children adopted by same-sex couples in other states legal orphans when the families are in Oklahoma. The ruling is important not only in Oklahoma, but also to families across the United States, including in Seattle and Houston, home to two of the families who joined in the suit.


In the opinion released today, U. S. Senior Circuit Judge David M. Ebel wrote, "final adoption orders by a state court of competent jurisdiction are judgments that must be given full faith and credit under the Constitution by every other state in the nation. Because the Oklahoma statute at issue categorically rejects a class of out-of-state adoption decrees, it violates the Full Faith and Credit Clause."

The Adoption Invalidation Law, hastily passed at the end of the 2004 Oklahoma legislative session, had said that Oklahoma "shall not recognize an adoption by more than one individual of the same sex from any other state or foreign jurisdiction."

Many powerful people in the media are arguing that Libertarians should support other parties' candidates in the upcoming elections out of a sense of "pragmatism." However, many other parties' candidates -- including the preferred Republican candidates of many "small-l" libertarians -- will be raging against this decision as a "violation of states' rights."

The Libertarian Party is the only national party whose top-tier presidential candidates all support the outcome of this ruling -- and the Constitution of the United States, including the Bill of Rights, as the supreme law of the land. No edits, no deletions, no additions.

That's why your friendly neighborhood blogger will be voting Big-L next November.