Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Oklahoma at its worst

Luckily the courts said no.

Should the legal ties between parents and their adopted child unravel if the family leaves the state where the adoption decree was handed down?

Of course not. The very idea is outrageous.

But that's what Oklahoma lawmakers were striving for in 2004 with their chillingly titled "Adoption Invalidation Law," which targeted adopted children with gay parents.

That wrongheaded statute declared that Oklahoma would refuse to recognize "an adoption by more than one individual of the same sex from any other state or foreign jurisdiction." In other words, if a gay couple and the child they adopted in, say, California or Maryland moved to Oklahoma or simply drove through Oklahoma on vacation, they would not be treated as a legally recognized family by any Oklahoma official -- whether a police officer, public school teacher or judge.

Sounds un-American, doesn't it? It's also unconstitutional. That's what a federal court of appeals told Oklahoma on Aug. 3 in striking down the law. A panel of three judges -- all of them Republican appointees -- of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court ruling that Oklahoma's anti-family law violated the U.S. Constitution's Full Faith and Credit Clause, which requires states to honor one another's judicial judgments, including adoptions.

The appeals court also ordered Oklahoma to issue a revised birth certificate for an Oklahoma-born girl so that she is listed as the daughter of the women who legally adopted her in California.


Steve Bates said...

As a constitutional issue, this is about as open-and-shut as any case can be.

As a social issue... it proves that there is at least one state unfriendlier to gay people than Texas. Not that I'm happy about that, but it is good for a change not to be the worst of the worst.

ellroon said...

Amazing that the most 'religious' states are trying to do the most hateful things...