Charges against an Illinois judge and Arkansas legislation
- 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 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
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
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
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