April 20, 2006
Before Scott Hines and his partner Jon Hines adopted nine-year-old Louis, the young boy was being given 13 pills a day to control behavior problems. He had been abused by his biological parents and the foster care system in Tennessee.
“Louis was angry, and rightfully so,” said Scott Hines, in a statement to reporters prior to a Tennessee legislative hearing on gay adoptions this month. “No one else wanted Louis and, without an adoptive home, he would have been sentenced to a life of neglect and heart break.”
… But Tennessee legislators are considering bills to ban such adoptions.
The legislature considered such bills before and they have failed. But this year, the strategy of gay civil rights opponents has changed. Instead of introducing explicitly anti-gay bills concerning adoption, foster care, and guardianship, the legislators have introduced “stealth” bills, says Chris Sanders, a spokesperson for Tennessee Equality Project, a statewide LGBT organization.
The bills this year, he said, are worded such that they appear on the surface to be addressing some general matter of the state code concerning adoption, guardianship, and foster care. “But when they think no one is watching,” said Sanders, “they want to amend the bills in committee to ban adoption by gays and lesbians.”
Perfectly understandable, if you’re Republican State Rep. Debra Maggart:
… Maggart told a constituent that research shows that “most homosexual couples have numerous emotional dysfunctions and psychological issues that may not be healthy for children.”
While she acknowledged in her e-mail that “emotional dysfunction can be found in heterosexual couples homes,” Maggart, who is herself divorced, claimed to “have seen evidence that homosexual couples prey on young males and have in some instances adopted them in order to have unfettered access to subject them to a life of molestation and sexual abuse.”
In 2002 the American Academy of Pediatrics pointed to “a considerable body of professional literature provides evidence” that children with same-sex parents “can have the same advantages and the same expectations for health, adjustment, and development as can children whose parents are heterosexual.”
According to my entomological dictionary, a “maggart” is a legless larva that lacks a distinct head and lives in decaying matter. Although I may have the spelling wrong.
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I was relieved to learn that this Debra Maggart isn't running unopposed for re-election. There's a normal-looking, sane-sounding veteran and family guy running against her. His name is Patrick Gardner, and his web site is at
I hope people of all parties and persuasions who don't like ranting bigots will have a peek at what he says, and throw him a little support if they think he'd be an improvement over the incumbent. It's a small rural district, and probably the ad markets are inexpensive. A little Net support might go much farther than it does in a Congressional or Senate race.
Posted by: Christopher Walker at April 24, 2006 10:29 PM