Fred Ellis reflects on Colombia’s Supreme Court ruling against gay adoption
The law is an ass, or so it’s said. And in Colombia last month so it was proven again. The Supreme Court of the Constitution (or whatever the idiots refer to themselves as) ruled that young orphans, bereft of any family, abandoned in the world, could not be adopted by loving couples who happened to be homosexual.
Not a complete loss, as at least adoption of partners’ children is now legal. However, in the words of Colombia Diversa’s Mauricio Alberracín, “the court took one step forward but failed to take the other”. That other step should be taken as quickly as possible.
This ruling is a sharp reminder that the Bogota I know and love, the liberal, progressive Bogota, is still a minority in a country which continues to be hindered by the weight of the past.
I’m not gay, nor do I have a particularly large number of gay friends in Bogota. You don’t have to like gay people (I generally don’t like people, gay or otherwise) to support gay adoption. You just have to have a brain and a heart. Arguing against homosexual adoption is less an issue of morals, more an issue of correctness. It’s right, and you are wrong if you oppose it.
The world is changing, and it is changing towards the path of greater equality. Tradition in this instance is raging against the dying of the light and doomed, eventually, to failure. More perniciously, with this refusal to concede, it only prolongs the agony faced by thousands of children up and down the country. This law will change one day, of that there is no doubt. The only question is how many children will be denied the opportunity to experience a home full of love and warmth in the meantime.
The crux of the (mainly) religious argument against homosexual adoption is this: not only do we not approve of you, but we reserve the right to get involved in your life at every turn, regardless of how much pain and suffering we cause.
Is it not enough for homosexuals to be condemned by the Church? Must they also be castigated by the legal process, harried and denied legal recourse at every turn, simply because they love someone of the same gender? This is 2015, not the sixteenth century.
The argument should be about the chance for the legions of Colombian children bereft of family to restart their lives, not about petty-minded moral intrusiveness and busybodying.
In truth, precious few of the arguments against homosexual adoption stand up to real scrutiny; most are simply “I don’t like gay people” dressed up as concern for children.
Sadly, as with so many current events, actual statistics get drowned out in the tsunami of moral outrage. Gay people are no more likely to abuse children that straight folk. Having two fathers or two mothers might cause some serious bullying in the classroom, hell, even a miserable time all the way through school. Orphanages, though, are no cakewalk either. Can you really equate the sheer brutal misery of an orphanage with the taunts of a few children at school?
Quite apart from anything else, this seems to me to be an issue of compassion. The compassion that should be shown to children in desperate need of a stable and secure family environment. The compassion that should be shown to homosexual men and women who are not able to have children and would like to be given the chance to care for other humans. The compassion that those couples would, in the majority of cases, undoubtedly show for these children.
If Jesus Christ was divine compassion incarnate, then why on earth do his followers refuse to show compassion to those they share the country with?
By Fred Ellis