A proposal to expand gay adoption in Louisiana and allow same-sex couples to jointly adopt children was rejected last night in committee. The 3 to 1 party line vote in the Senate Judiciary A Committee is expected to kill the bill for the legislative session, reports the Times Picayune.
"Senate Bill 129, which ended up as a combination of two measures by Sens. Ed Murray and J.P. Morrell, would have allowed unmarried couples to jointly adopt and allow an existing parent to petition a court to add a second adult as a legal parent. The bill would have applied regardless of the adoptive parents' sexual orientation, but the debate centered on the rights of gay parents and their children. Louisiana law restricts adoption to married couples or single individuals, meaning gay couples or unmarried heterosexual couples can adopt but must choose which adult has parental rights.
The testimony was quite emotional on both sides:
The Louisiana Family Forum, the Conference of Catholic Bishops and representatives of Louisiana Southern Baptists [opposed the bill]. John Yeats, representing the Louisiana Baptist Convention, said that the bill was a back-door attempt to enshrine gay unions. Morrell angrily chastised some of the opponents for their testimony, particularly references to news accounts of a gay father who sexually abused one of his children. Morrell reminded senators that former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, a Florida Republican accused of advances on minor House pages, 'had a 100 percent voting record with the parent group of the group pushing this bill.'
Democratic Sen. Edwin Murray, a longtime LGBT ally from New Orleans, was the sole "yes" vote. Two Democrats skipped the meeting. Gov. Bobby Jindal's office also registered the governor's opposition to the bill, though no one from the administration testified.
The Conference of Catholic Bishops trying to "protect" children from predators? LOLz.