Wednesday, June 18, 2008

They Lie About Everything

We are watching some foundational myths growing like topsy here on the internet. One of them is that equal marriage is the thin end of the wedge to religious oppression. Or oppression of religious people. Or something. Maggie Gallegher over at The Corner tells us that its twue, its twue, because in Boston after "the courts" found preposterously that the Mass constitution necessitated equal treatment in the matter of marriage that all of a sudden Catholic Charities was "kicked out" of the adoption business. This is a patent lie. More... Catholic Charities was not "kicked out" of the adoption business--and nor were Catholics. To assert that is to radically misunderstand all of the key concepts: adoption, business, Catholic, Charity, and I'd probably include all those teeny words like and, also, the, and out. Catholic Charities is a non profit (another tough concept for the Magster) that took public monies to perform a quasi public function--placing children in foster and adoptive care. Since it took public money to do this, it was obligated to follow all the rules pertaining to an arm of the state like cleanliness, honesty, thrift, and not discriminating against any citizens. By definition that would include gay citizens in their role as taxpayers and also their role as prospective adoptive and foster parents. In a little considered aside that would also include the children of gay people as people who might require adoption or foster care services. And hell, it would also include gay and lesbian children and teens who might need such services. The notion that Charity X could take public money and refuse to place black children, or refuse to place children with black families, would strike us at once as absurd but since Maggie is very clear that "gay is not the new black" because she thinks that the "black" in "the new black" refers to all those incredible goodies that black people got from civil rights legislation and not to that indispensible element in a fat woman's wardrobe lets not go with race as a comparison. Lets use *religion!* Maggie dearie, do you think that X charity should be permitted to take public money to place children only with members of one religious group? Do you think that foster and adoptive parents should be rejected by Catholic charities if they want to adopt and raise a child as a jew, a protestant, or heaven forbid an atheist? Actually, I'm sure Maggie thinks they should have that right but lets repeat that marvellous right wing refrain that they always drag out when explaining why they don't want comprehensive health care services offered to people they don't like "not on my dime!"

The kicker, of course, to those of us living in Sin City is that "Catholic Charities" the organization (its board) didn't want to refuse to handle gay adoptive parents. They were forced to take that stand, contra their decades long devotion to the rights, health, and safety of the children, by the Catholic Church which, while refusing to fit the bill for the cost of the business yet arrogated to its celibate self the right to decide who makes a good parent. Its what we call a loss/loss all around. But it can't be blamed on the courts.