Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Charges against an Illinois judge and Arkansas legislation

Expand Messages
  • Called Out
    CALLED OUT INFORMATION SERVICE February 21, 2001 1. Ethics charges have been filed in Illinois against Cook County Circuit Court Judge Susan McDunn for [her
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 21, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      February 21, 2001

      1. Ethics charges have been filed in Illinois against "Cook County Circuit
      Court Judge Susan McDunn for [her behavior related to] blocking
      second-parent adoptions by two lesbian couples", according to PlanetOut.

      Her anti-GLBT bigotry "'resulted in her making rulings contrary to Illinois
      law and advancing her own personal beliefs,' that she continued to issue
      rulings after having been removed from the cases by her presiding judge, and
      that she 'disobeyed the law' by releasing confidential information about the
      cases to the Washington, D.C.-based anti-gay lobby group Family Research

      More is available at

      2. A group of Arkansas citizens, including a teacher and a minister, have
      filed suit to overturn a state statute which gives special rights to others
      in the state, rather than treating all people equally.

      "Arkansas' sodomy law applied to heterosexual as well as homosexual oral and
      anal copulation until its repeal in 1975, but in 1977 the current statute
      was enacted applying solely to acts between people of the same sex,"
      according to PlanetOut news staff.

      The plaintiffs argue that the law is based solely on the disapproval by some
      of the private behavior of others and, as such, is overly intrusive into
      individual lives.

      One plaintiff observed , "As a tax-paying, contributing citizen, I do not
      deserve to be called a criminal by my state just because of who I am." They
      pointed out that the law is commonly used to justify firings from jobs,
      evictions from homes, and loss of children in custody disputes.

      So far, the judge has "agreed that laws can be enacted based on morality but
      added, 'You say, "Well, we think it's immoral, so we're not going to let you
      do it." The problem is: In most other laws that are based on morality you
      can see some discernable harm. I really have trouble finding some reasonable
      harm here.'"

      Sadly, "even if [the judge] agrees with the seven gay and lesbian plaintiffs
      represented by Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund that the law violates
      their rights to privacy and to equal treatment under the law, [he] lacks the
      authority to issue an injunction barring enforcement of the law."

      The details can be read at

      3. Also in Arkansas, a bill to prohibit GLBT people from serving as
      adoptive or foster parents was rejected in committee on January 26. This
      bill would have gone in lock-step with an existing regulation "adopted in
      1999 by the Arkansas Child Welfare Agency Review Board prohibiting the state
      Department of Human Services from allowing gays and lesbians to serve as
      foster parents." The combination would have attacked families with GLBT
      family members, since those are families based on mutual love and respect --
      the type of family considered ideal for adopting or fostering children --
      rather than merely on genetics.

      The state Representative who sponsored the bill tried to make his argument
      for passage by citing from "long-discredited 1989 research by defrocked
      right-wing psychologist Paul Cameron, but Committee Chair Jo Carson (D-Fort
      Smith) was well aware of Cameron having been discredited by both the
      American and Nebraska Psychological Associations."

      The time allotted for discussion and outside witnesses allowed for only two.
      While the Arkansas Family Council director admitted that "the goal of the
      bill [was] discrimination 'in the best interests of the child.',
      pediatrician Dr. Daniel Rifkin noted that, 'Gays and lesbians are
      potentially more likely to adopt children with disabilities because they've
      faced discrimination themselves.'"

      This January 29 story is online at

      -- Posted by Called Out moderator
      Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.