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  • March 16, 2018

Talk Back to The Crier - Dunwoody Crier: Talk Back To The Crier

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Talk Back to The Crier

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Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 8:00 am

To the Editor:

I write in response to Senator Millar’s recent piece and his contentions regarding Senate Bill 375. SB 375 that would allow state-­funded private adoption and foster agencies to turn away prospective parents and kids based on the agency’s religious beliefs. This allows agencies to turn away LGBT families and children, while still receiving money from limited state funds.

My husband and I are a same­-sex couple, and we moved to Dunwoody in 2014 after adopting our first daughter. Our neighbors have been most welcoming to us and our now two daughters. We feel a sense of community and are treated like everyone else. That is the Dunwoody we know.

This contrasts with Millar’s voting record. He has consistently voted for bills which would harm families like mine. Like this current bill, Millar voted in favor of the 2016 “Religious Liberty Bill,” which Governor Deal appropriately vetoed. To be clear, I believe religiously­-affiliated agencies should be able to abide by their beliefs, as I’m guided by my own Presbyterian faith. But I take issue when limited state funds are used to subsidize organizations which discriminate.

Contrary to Millar’s representation that SB 375 will increase the pool families for foster kids, the opposite is true. There are at least 25,000 same-­sex households in Georgia. Of those, 20 percent are already raising children. Additionally, research shows that  LGBT couples are more likely to adopt than straight couples.

Given this, it is clear that LGBT families are an important asset in finding more children stable homes. Solving the state’s foster care crisis requires as many loving families as possible. Finally, promoting discrimination is out ­of­ step with the sense of inclusion I have come to know in Dunwoody.

Jason Mayberry 

To the Editor:

I believe I am one of Sen. Millar’s “hypocritical” constituents who applauded the Supreme Court ruling in favor of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. I am not sure to which Supreme Court ruling Sen. Millar refers to that makes me a hypocrite – the one that provides “that religious entities may not be coerced by government to modify their religious character in order to participate in public programs.”

However, I am well aware of Sen. Millar’s support for SB 375, which will allow state-funded private adoption agencies to turn away families and even kids based on the organization’s religious beliefs.

The Supreme Court’s marriage ruling affirmed the constitutional truth that we are all created equal. It afforded members of the LGBT community the same right to marriage that the heterosexual community has always had and resulted in more families, with even stronger bonds, in America.

The Senate bill, however, allows organizations that accept public money to discriminate against prospective LGBT parents, and even LGBT kids seeking forever homes, based on the organization’s interpretation of the Bible.

It is perfectly fine for religious organizations to hold their beliefs, and adoption agencies are free today to choose with whom they work. What is wrong is to take public money, collected in the form of taxes from all Georgians (even gay ones), and then give it to organizations that discriminate against those same citizens simply for who they are. Opposing that discrimination is not a “hypocritical” stance.

And it is not about “having it both ways.” It is about recognizing the equality of the LGBT community and protecting the rights granted to them, and all of us, in the Constitution. And it is about making sure that kids in Georgia looking for permanent homes have as big a pool of potential families, straight or gay, as possible.

Paula Humer

© 2018 Dunwoody Crier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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1 comment:

  • 1988mb560sl posted at 9:34 pm on Wed, Mar 7, 2018.

    1988mb560sl Posts: 1

    Kudos to the Publix in Dunwoody Village for their quick action in providing porta-pottys and a hand-washing sink outside the store for their customers during DeKalb County's "Watergate." Well done! David Andersen, Dunwoody