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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
April 22, 2005

Adoption ban pushed by Statehouse lobbyists

Columbus--Six anti-gay conservative Christian groups sent 144 volunteers to the Statehouse on April 19 to lobby for a ban on adoption and foster parenting by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

The proposed legislation, called the Adoptive Children�s Protection Act, was one of eight items on the groups� agenda. It would amend the Ohio Revised Code to include prohibitions on adoption �if that person is a homosexual, transsexual, transgender or is bisexual.�

The measure would also prohibit placing foster children in a household where a GLBT person lives, even if it is another child.

It has not yet been introduced in the legislature.

The lobbyists distributed copies of the proposed bill to House and Senate members in both parties, and asked most to support it. The handouts read, �Rep. Tim Schaffer of Lancaster is offering this legislation.�

But Schaffer, a Republican, said that may not be true.

The bill handed out by the volunteers was not drafted by the Legislative Services Commission, as is required of all legislation. Statehouse insiders said that no such bill has been drafted.

�At this point, we�re researching it, that�s all,� said Schaffer.

The proposed bill would also prohibit GLBT people from adopting their stepchildren.

It would require the Department of Job and Family Services to �deny a foster home certificate if the foster caregiver or prospective foster caregiver, or any person residing with the foster caregiver or prospective foster caregiver, is homosexual, transsexual, transgender or is bisexual.�

What was called Ohio Family Lobby Day was organized by Greg Quinlan and Chris Hartkop. It was the fifth such event.

Participants paid $25-35 to lobby, which paid for a large amount of printed material and two semitrailer trucks parked outside the Statehouse with pictures of aborted fetuses painted on them.

Quinlan is president of the Pro-Family Network of Dayton. Harktop chairs the Christian Coalition of Ohio in Westfield Center, south of Cleveland.

Other participating groups were Citizens for Community Values of Sharonville, a Cincinnati suburb; the Eagle Forum of Ohio of Stow, near Akron; Family First of Springboro, south of Dayton; and the new Institute for Principled Policy in the Columbus suburb of Groveport.

Quinlan said the bill was drafted by Erik Stanley of the Liberty Counsel in Florida, similar to ones in other states. He noted that his group has been discussing the measure with Schaffer for �the last couple of months.�

In a letter given to lawmakers by the volunteers, IPP chair Dr. Mark J. Hamilton wrote, �Our mission is to promote and support righteous policy and godly statesmen and to make their causes known. This will be done by applying Biblical truth as the standard for moral government and society for the purpose of reforming culture to uphold the Kingly Reign of Jesus Christ over all the earth, beginning in Ohio.�

Hamilton is also a professor of philosophy at Ashland University.

The volunteers also lobbied legislators for laws creating �covenant marriage,� which would end no-fault divorce and limit the conditions by which divorces can be granted, and for �family impact statements� on all legislation, calculating its effect on families, specifically the �marital commitment.�

Also requested is a complete abortion ban in Ohio for the purpose of creating a �test case to go before the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.�

Other topics addressed by the groups included gambling, regulation of adult-oriented businesses, forcing universities to be void of political expression, and a �Terri Schiavo bill� prohibiting removal of feeding tubes from unconscious patients.

Currently, Florida bans gay adoptions. Alabama, Tennessee, and Texas have measures before their legislative bodies. Kansas is considering it.

Arkansas and Virginia rejected adoption bans earlier this year.

 

 

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