Thursday, February 23, 2006
BY CARL CHANCELLOR
Knight Ridder Newspapers
AKRON, Ohio - If an Ohio lawmaker's proposal becomes state law, Republicans would be barred from being adoptive parents.
State Sen. Robert Hagan sent out e-mails to fellow lawmakers late Wednesday night, stating that he intends to "introduce legislation in the near future that would ban households with one or more Republican voters from adopting children or acting as foster parents." The e-mail ended with a request for co-sponsorship.
On Thursday, the Youngstown Democrat said he had not yet found a co-sponsor.
Hagan said his "tongue was planted firmly in cheek" when he drafted the proposed legislation. However, Hagan said that the point he is trying to make is nonetheless very serious.
Hagan said his legislation was written in response to a bill introduced in the Ohio House this month by state Rep. Ron Hood, R-Ashville, that is aimed at prohibiting gay adoption.
"We need to see what we are doing," said Hagan, who called Hood's proposed bill blatantly discriminatory and extremely divisive. Hagan called Hood and the eight other conservative House Republicans who backed the anti-gay adoption bill "homophobic."
Hood's bill, which does not have support of House leadership, seeks to ban children from being placed for adoption or foster care in homes where the prospective parent or a roommate is homosexual, bisexual or transgender.
To further lampoon Hood's bill, Hagan wrote in his mock proposal that "credible research" shows that adopted children raised in Republican households are more at risk for developing "emotional problems, social stigmas, inflated egos, and alarming lack of tolerance for others they deem different than themselves and an air of overconfidence to mask their insecurities."
However, Hagan admitted that he has no scientific evidence to support the above claims.
Just as "Hood had no scientific evidence" to back his assertion that having gay parents was detrimental to children, Hagan said.
"It flies in the face of reason when we need to reform our education system, address health care and environmental issues that we put energy and wasted time (into) legislation (Hood's) like this," continued Hagan, who has been in the Ohio Senate nine years. Before the Senate, he served 19 years in the Ohio House.