Gays Role In Parenting Debated
San Antonio Express News,
May 4, 1999
Box 2171, San Antonio, TX 78297-2171
Melissa Prentice, Express-News Staff Writer
AUSTIN - More than 200 people overflowed a House State Affairs Committee
meeting Monday night to debate whether gays and lesbians should be allowed to adopt
children, marry and be free from discrimination in the workplace.
Much of the emotional debate focused on a proposal by Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, to
prohibit lesbian and gay couples from adopting children or being foster parents, and to
remove children the state has previously placed with homosexual couples.
Support for Chisums efforts to "place children where it is best for them -
where they have a father and a mother" focused on assertions that sodomy is illegal
in Texas, that children of same-sex couples may be ridiculed at school and that children
may be confused about their own sexuality or adopt a homosexual lifestyle. Houston
Democrat Rep. Debra Danburgs opposing bill prohibiting child protection workers from
considering a potential parents sexual orientation got applause from more than half
of the room - including more than a dozen lesbian, gay and heterosexual parents, social
workers and the Houston Log Cabin Republicans.
"The childs best interest is for us to find a loving home," Danburg
said. "We need to find people who love these kids, who will take them to the doctor,
take them to the counselor, take them to school, wipe their noses."
The committee wasnt expected to vote on either proposal after hours of debate
late Monday night.
An Austin lawyer who spoke in favor of Chisums measure said mainstream Texas
"Children would be far better off in an orphanage than living with people who
practice homosexual conduct," Jerald Finney said. "Homosexuality is conduct,
like smoking, drinking, stealing or lying."
Opponents questioned how the state would determine if "homosexual activity is
occurring or is likely to occur" short of putting cameras in bedrooms and cited
studies that the success of children raised in gay and lesbian families is equal to that
of children raised in heterosexual homes.
"It has been said that living with a father and a mother is an ideal home,"
said Bob Lynch, whos raising a 3-year-old son with his male partner. "But this
is not an ideal world. In an ideal world, every mom wants to raise her child, no children
are abused ... and there is no need for adoption or foster care."
About 70 percent of Texas foster and adoptive families are married couples, while 30
percent are unmarried men, women and same-sex couples.
[Home] [News] [Texas]