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Old 03-01-2006, 10:55 AM   #46
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Originally posted by Calluna

I'm sure you mean procreation not recreation impulses, right?
Maybe I'm just deviant and it was a freudian slip.
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Old 03-01-2006, 01:47 PM   #47
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Originally posted by Irvine511

and Melon aptly defended his use of the word "fascist" -- it's not to say that America is a fascist country or that Ohio is a fascist state; but it is to say that there are fascist impulses in Ohio politics
Okay, here's my point in this whole thing: what we say reveals what we think. By summarily referring to opponents of a particular worldview as "fascist," you lose your own credibility because you have written off anyone who disagrees with you. You've lost the chance for intelligent, well thought out debate or discussion, and instead resorted to vitriolic hyperbole which 1. alienates, and 2. isn't even rooted in reality. (How is Focus on the Family fascist again, when you compare the organization to the fascist governments listed in the article I posted?)

Consider as well that fascism is just as possible from the left as from the right (consider the African and Latin American dictatorships that were founded in Leftist ideology and soon became corrupt dictatorships), so if your reason for arguing against people who don't believe in gay adoption is because you think they're "fascist," you're casting a much bigger net than maybe you know, and perhaps including yourself in it.

There are legitimate, well-reasoned and well-thought-out arguments to be made on both sides of this debate. However, when you start demonizing your opponents, you lose the opportunity to engage and inform them, as well as yourself.
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Old 03-01-2006, 02:09 PM   #48
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Originally posted by nathan1977


Okay, here's my point in this whole thing: what we say reveals what we think. By summarily referring to opponents of a particular worldview as "fascist," you lose your own credibility because you have written off anyone who disagrees with you. You've lost the chance for intelligent, well thought out debate or discussion, and instead resorted to vitriolic hyperbole which 1. alienates, and 2. isn't even rooted in reality. (How is Focus on the Family fascist again, when you compare the organization to the fascist governments listed in the article I posted?)

the whole "fascist" point was Melon's argument, so i'm not going to make it for him, but couldn't the alienation you point to be the result of a misunderstanding of what fascism actually is? that fascism isn't North Korea but Italy's Mussolini? and if there's a widespread misudnerstanding of fascism, then so be it, but Melon shouldn't have to water down his points in order to prevent alienating people and the credibility he's lost has been lost only in the minds of people who don't know what they're talking about historically.

the point about fascism coming from the right or the left is irrelevant to the discussion at hand. you're also, again, conflating labeling an impulse as "fascist" with the painting of a whole society, or even political party, as fascist.

i'd also say that i can't think of a legitimate, thought-out argument to oppose gay adoption. if one does exist, i'm all ears.
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Old 03-01-2006, 02:30 PM   #49
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Originally posted by Irvine511


i'd also say that i can't think of a legitimate, thought-out argument to oppose gay adoption. if one does exist, i'm all ears.
Outlining my perspective on gay adoption (and mine might be very different from prevailing ideas for/against, so they're not indicative of any perspectives other than my own), requires breaking down my perspective on family structures (and the value of and necessity for mothers and fathers), which is rooted in a more general perspective on sexuality, which is rooted in...etc., all of which has been discussed at length in various forums.

My perspectives have nothing to do with hatred, fear, etc. -- a producer friend of mine who is gay and has a three-year-old son is a genuinely gentle human being and we get on just fine. It simply with a perspective on what is best. For me, gay adoption is the tip of a much broader iceberg, as it is for many.
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Old 03-01-2006, 02:52 PM   #50
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Originally posted by nathan1977


Outlining my perspective on gay adoption (and mine might be very different from prevailing ideas for/against, so they're not indicative of any perspectives other than my own), requires breaking down my perspective on family structures (and the value of and necessity for mothers and fathers), which is rooted in a more general perspective on sexuality, which is rooted in...etc., all of which has been discussed at length in various forums.

My perspectives have nothing to do with hatred, fear, etc. -- a producer friend of mine who is gay and has a three-year-old son is a genuinely gentle human being and we get on just fine. It simply with a perspective on what is best. For me, gay adoption is the tip of a much broader iceberg, as it is for many.


simply because there might be an "ideal" family structure out there, does this mean that we then deny children eager potential parents because they might not meet this standard, especially when we can show that children are not harmed at all when they come from non-traditional families? likewise, do we prevent single straight women from adopting? single straight men? if a divorce were to occur, and mom turned out to be a lesbian, should the children then be given over to still-straight dad? is adoption for straight couples only? can we not point to a million-and-one different examples of extreme neglect of foster children by straight couples?

it seems to me that more than a few children grow up very successfully outside of the "traditional" structure -- and upon what grounds do you let an "ideal" image of something become an acceptable basis for preventing other people from creating families?

and, while you might not "hate" said iceberg, it does seem as if you fear it.
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Old 03-01-2006, 03:40 PM   #51
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As my wife and I are looking into adoption, these issues are near to our hearts. The National Council on Adoption has some pertinent perspectives on these matters. They've published a list of adoption principles which I think are interesting. The full list is here: http://www.adoptioncouncil.org/about_Philosophy.htm

An excerpt:

There is no right to adopt, only the right of the child to be adopted: The purpose of adoption is to provide the best possible parents for children, not to provide children for adults who desire to parent them. Adoption policy and practice guided by the best interests of the child recognizes no 'right to adopt,' only the right of the child to be adopted when his or her biological parents cannot or will not parent. Adult assertions of a right to adopt reveal a fundamental misunderstanding of the most basic principle of adoption: The whole purpose of adoption is to serve the best interests of children.

...

Consistent with the child’s best interests, preference in adoption placements should be given to families that offer married mother-and-father parenting: Recent research has confirmed the teaching of centuries of historical experience that married mother-and-father parenting is most likely to produce the best outcomes for children. Because the goal of marriage is to be lifelong, married-couple parenting provides children greater security and permanence, and data show that adoptive parents divorce at lower rates than biological parents. Children also benefit from receiving both maternal and paternal love, which are complementary and distinct, and from having both male and female role models in their immediate family. For all these reasons, adoptive placements should be with husband-and-wife couples, whenever possible.

Before his passing in 2004, the founder of the NCFA, Bill Pierce, had some comments on gay adoption; they are linked below. (Disclaimer: they were published in the National Review.) http://www.nationalreview.com/commen...erce051002.asp

These are the compelling arguments I was talking about.
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Old 03-01-2006, 04:27 PM   #52
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[q]— William L. Pierce was the founding president of the National Council For Adoption, where he served for 20 years. He currently a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, publisher of Adoption/Medical News, and executive director of the USA Committee for the International Association of Voluntary Adoption Agencies and NGOs.
[/q]

the Discovery Institute is the most aggressive proponant of Intelligent Design in the US. it's hard to take his reading of studies seriously when he chooses to ignore basic science.

but aside from that ... you raise some interesing points ...

[q]There is no right to adopt, only the right of the child to be adopted[/q]

i agree with this, but it misses the mark as an argument against gay adoption. what gay people are asking for is the right to be considered as acceptable adoptive parents without their sexual orientation being held against them. i would never demand to adopt. i would demand for the right to be considered for adoption.


[q]Recent research has confirmed the teaching of centuries of historical experience that married mother-and-father parenting is most likely to produce the best outcomes for children. Because the goal of marriage is to be lifelong, married-couple parenting provides children greater security and permanence, and data show that adoptive parents divorce at lower rates than biological parents. Children also benefit from receiving both maternal and paternal love, which are complementary and distinct, and from having both male and female role models in their immediate family. For all these reasons, adoptive placements should be with husband-and-wife couples, whenever possible.
[/q]



my understanding of recent research is that having same-sex parents isn't at all detrimental to the child; if anything, the research shows that children raised by two mothers tend to be more open-minded, emotionally expressive, and kinder to their peers. also, many people will say that gay people generally make better parents because they tend to be older, they tend to be very well educated, they tend to have resources, and they tend to really, really want to adopt a child.

i have a big problem with notions of "maternal" and "paternal" love and how they are distinct and complimentary. it subscribes to notions of sex-roles that are increasingly irrelevant. i agree about the benefits of stability for a child, but i would argue that lesbian couples are more monogamous and have a lower "divorce" rate than to straight couples. male and female role models can be important, but i don't see how a child will necessarily be deprived of such role models in a same-sex household especially when there is extended family involved.

this bit in Pierce's article really bothered me:

[q]9. If, as I believe, there is a shortage of appropriate families to foster or adopt children the proper response is to change the incentives and supports to eliminate the shortage of appropriate families.[/q]

so let's pay straight people more to adopt more? i can't think of anything worse for a child -- to make it about money so that we get straight people adopting for the worst reasons while gay couples are denied consideration on the basis of an immutable characteristic that has no bearing on their ability to raise children, as Pierce also pretty much concurs:

[q]5. The best place for a child in need of placement, all things being equal, is a private family with parents whose health and lifestyles are such that they are likely to provide the child appropriate care and modeling at least until the child is 18.[/q]

i don't see how the above is incompatible with a same-sex couple.

what i think is sad is that i know of three gay people who are going to go the fertilization route instead of adopting. the first is a married couple (they live in MA) who would love to adopt a child from Vietnam, since one of the pair is 1/2 Vietnamese. because they are married, it now seems as if this will be a major obstacle to overcome with the Vietnamese government. so, they are now seeking other means, and a child will remain an orphan (while the single straight woman next door to me just adopted a child from Guatemala with no problems at all). the 2nd is a single gay man who would be an ideal father, but he's pretty much come to the conclusion that it is both cheaper and easier to go the insemination-and-surrogate route than to adopt a child.

it just strikes me as really, really sad.
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Old 03-01-2006, 06:11 PM   #53
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The National Council For Adoption is an advocacy group with its own agenda, not an official spokesman for all adoption agencies. I did not find any citations of or links to peer-reviewed, scholarly research on adoption on their website, only their own publications. As for Pierce's article, it is a list of opinionated assertions, not a scientific argument referencing other research or proferring its own. I find it hard to believe that he was unaware of the major and throughly documented research report released by the American Academy of Pediatrics several months before his article, which found no empirical support for the argument that children raised by gay or lesbian parents fare worse than their peers. Here are references to and abstracts from that report, as well as a more recent scholarly study. **There are plenty of others--this is just what came up in the first 3 pages of results from one search on one multitopic academic database.**
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AAP Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, Coparent or second-parent adoption by same-sex parents. Pediatrics 2002, Vol. 109 Issue 2, beg. p. 341.

"A growing body of scientific literature demonstrates that children who grow up with 1 or 2 gay and/or lesbian parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as do children whose parents are heterosexual. Children’s optimal development seems to be influenced more by the nature of the relationships and interactions within the family unit than by the particular structural form it takes...the weight of evidence gathered during several decades using diverse samples and methodologies is persuasive in demonstrating that there is no systematic difference between gay and nongay parents in emotional health, parenting skills, and attitudes toward parenting. No data have pointed to any risk to children as a result of growing up in a family with 1 or more gay parents."
Quote:
Leung, Erich and Kanenberg, A comparison of family functioning in gay/lesbian, heterosexual and special needs adoptions.Children & Youth Services Review 2005, Vol. 27 Issue 9, beg. p. 1031.

"...[The] three adoptive family types were examined concurrently so that commonalities and differences could be identified and considered for use in adoption practice...Results indicated no negative effects for the parenting of adopted children by gay/lesbian headed families. Higher levels of family functioning were found to be associated with special needs, younger, and non-disabled child adoptions. Gay/lesbian headed family adoptions of older children, non-sibling group adoptions, and children with more foster placements also experienced higher levels of family functioning. Implications include the need to (1) place a child in an adoptive family as early as possible, (2) ensure strong support networks for adoptive families of children with disabilities and with those who adopt sibling groups, and (3) encourage the practice of adoption by gay/lesbian headed families, especially for older children."
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Old 03-01-2006, 06:39 PM   #54
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I just find it appalling for all the credible scientific research that's in favor of gay parenting, Congress will always look at the shit published by those nutty ID types.

It's no wonder then that our intelligence on "the war on terror" has been crap, because the Republican Party can't even get scientific fact correct, let alone espionage.

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Old 03-01-2006, 08:25 PM   #55
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Originally posted by Irvine511
[q]— William L. Pierce was the founding president of the National Council For Adoption, where he served for 20 years. He currently a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, publisher of Adoption/Medical News, and executive director of the USA Committee for the International Association of Voluntary Adoption Agencies and NGOs.[/q]

the Discovery Institute is the most aggressive proponant of Intelligent Design in the US. it's hard to take his reading of studies seriously when he chooses to ignore basic science.
He was a senior fellow. You don't know whether he was a proponent for or against ID. When it comes to advocacy, yes, the NCA is an advocacy group -- one that has been at the forefront of rights for adopted children since its inception 25 years ago. If you'd like to disregard his perspective (as an expert in the field of adoption for 20+ years), you may do so by all means, but the fact remains -- the man knew whereof he spoke.

You raise some interesting points as well. We can get into the flawed nature of the AAP's study (well-publicized at the time -- by many in the scientific community, incidentally -- for a biased sample selection and lack of proper control groups, among other data constrictions that make the findings problematic). I have a feeling however that would degenerate into a "You have your statistics, I have mine" back-and-forth, which would just prove my initial point, which was simply that there are perspectives on both sides of this discussion, and they can't be disregarded.

Quote:
i have a big problem with notions of "maternal" and "paternal" love and how they are distinct and complimentary. it subscribes to notions of sex-roles that are increasingly irrelevant.
So you're saying that men and women aren't different? And that those differences don't manifest themselves in parenting styles? And that those differences aren't ultimately beneficial to the child? This is problematic at a variety of levels, including your own example:

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if anything, the research shows that children raised by two mothers tend to be more open-minded, emotionally expressive, and kinder to their peers.
By this logic, you actually seem to contradict yourself. By inference, two fathers would teach children to be more closed-minded, emotional repressed, and alienated from their peers. Did you mean to condemn gay fatherhood?

Or can we say perhaps that flawed research leads to flawed conclusions?

As I say, the tip of the iceberg.
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Old 03-01-2006, 08:38 PM   #56
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He was a senior fellow. You don't know whether he was a proponent for or against ID.
If he's even at the Discovery Institute, he's a conservative Christian.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discovery_Institute

So, of course, he's going to come to an anti-gay conclusion. Clearly, if he believes in ID, despite the fact that it's pseudoscience, he's going to have no problem being anti-gay or claiming that gays are dangerous or harmful to children in spite of all credible scientific studies.

After all, these "think-tanks" exist solely to feign credibility for conservative Christian ideology. They will never ever contradict their religious beliefs, which is why these groups have zero credibility from the start.

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Old 03-01-2006, 08:39 PM   #57
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Originally posted by nathan1977
We can get into the flawed nature of the AAP's study (well-publicized at the time -- by many in the scientific community, incidentally -- for a biased sample selection and lack of proper control groups, among other data constrictions that make the findings problematic).
No one criticized the AAP report's "sample selection" or "lack of proper control groups"--there weren't any samples or control groups involved! It was a scientific research review, not an experimental study.
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Old 03-01-2006, 08:39 PM   #58
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discovery_Institute

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At the foundation of most criticism of the Discovery Institute is the charge that the institute and its Center for Science and Culture intentionally misrepresent or omit many important facts in promoting their agenda. Intellectual dishonesty, in the form of misleading impressions created by the use of rhetoric, intentional ambiguity, and misrepresented evidence, form the foundation of most of the criticisms of the institute. It is alleged that its goal is to lead an unwary public to reach certain conclusions, and that many have been deceived as a result. Its critics, such as Eugenie Scott, Robert Pennock and Barbara Forrest, claim that the Discovery Institute knowingly misquotes scientists and other experts, deceptively omits contextual text through ellipsis, and makes unsupported amplifications of relationships and credentials.A wide spectrum of critics level this charge; from educators, scientists and the Smithsonian Institute to individuals who oppose the teaching of creationism along science on ideological grounds. Specific objections with examples are listed at the Center for Science and Culture article.

This criticism is not limited to those in the scientific community that oppose the teaching of intelligent design and the suppression of evolution, but also includes former Discovery Institute donors. The Bullitt Foundation, which gave $10,000 in 2001 for transportation causes, withdrew all funding of the institute; its director, Denis Hayes, called the institute "the institutional love child of Ayn Rand and Jerry Falwell," and said, "I can think of no circumstances in which the Bullitt Foundation would fund anything at Discovery today."

The Templeton Foundation, who provided grants for conferences and courses to debate intelligent design, later asked intelligent design proponents to submit proposals for actual research, "They never came in," said Charles L. Harper Jr., senior vice president at the Templeton Foundation, who said that while he was skeptical from the beginning, other foundation officials were initially intrigued and later grew disillusioned. "From the point of view of rigor and intellectual seriousness, the intelligent design people don't come out very well in our world of scientific review," he said. [5]

The Templeton Foundation has since rejected the Discovery Institute's entreaties for more funding, Harper states. "They're political - that for us is problematic," and that while Discovery has "always claimed to be focused on the science," "what I see is much more focused on public policy, on public persuasion, on educational advocacy and so forth." [6]

Philip Gold, a former fellow who left in 2002, has criticized the institute for growing increasingly religious. "It evolved from a policy institute that had a religious focus to an organization whose primary mission is Christian conservatism," he has said.
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Old 03-01-2006, 09:10 PM   #59
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^ What does any of that have to do with the National Council on Adoption?
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Old 03-01-2006, 09:24 PM   #60
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^ What does any of that have to do with the National Council on Adoption?
Ahem...

Quote:
William L. Pierce was the founding president of the National Council For Adoption, where he served for 20 years. He currently a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, publisher of Adoption/Medical News, and executive director of the USA Committee for the International Association of Voluntary Adoption Agencies and NGOs.
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