Christian family groups are taking a stand against popular TV talk show host Rosie O'Donnell's high profile campaign to end a ban on gay adoptions.
The daytime chat queen and adoptive mother of three used her widely promoted "coming out" as a homosexual on ABC's "Primetime" on March 14 to attack Florida state laws that bar gay singles or couples from adopting children.
In a two-hour program hosted by Diane Sawyer, O'Donnell said that President Bush had been wrong to say children should be adopted in families with a married man and woman. She said that if he spent a weekend in her home, "I'm sure his mind would change."
The former actress and stand-up comic said that with half-a-million children in foster care nationwide, restricting the pool of potential adoptive parents was not beneficial. The program featured the case of homosexual couple Steve Lofton and Roger Croteau, who have been told they cannot adopt their three foster children because of Florida law.
"It takes a lot to become a foster parent...You have to really want to save a child who others have deemed unsaveable," said O'Donnell. "And for the state of Florida to tell anyone who's willing, capable and able to do that, that they're unworthy, is wrong."
The celebrity campaigner's comments were welcomed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which has launched a bid to repeal the Florida law-the only one of its kind in the country. Mississippi and Utah both ban same-sex couples from adopting, though single homosexuals are allowed to.
In a "Rosie v. The Facts" statement, the FRC said that only 20 percent of children in foster care were actual candidates for adoption, and one study has found children raised in homosexual homes were more likely to be confused about their own sexual identity and to be promiscuous.
William J. Maier, psychologist in residence at Focus on the Family, said that research which some like the American Academy of Pediatrics claimed showed children raised by homosexual parents were not disadvantaged was inconclusive at best. "Studies on this topic are fraught with methodological flaws, motivated by political agendas and ultimately offer no scientific justification for this hazardous recommendation."
At Concerned Women for America (CWA), president Sandy Rios said the "Primetime" program had "all the earmarks of yet another media celebration of homosexuality." She offered a list of questions she would have liked Sawyer to ask O'Donnell, including: "Fatherless homes are often sad places. Why would you create one by design?"
Robert Knight, director of the CWA affiliate, the Culture and Family Institute, said: "The desire of homosexuals to acquire children should not be the prime factor in adoption and custody. The deciding factor should be what is in the best interest of children, who should have a married mother and father whenever possible."
The Christian legal group Liberty Counsel is to represent Florida legislators when the Lofton-Croteau case heads back to court later this year. The two men unsuccessfully challenged the law last year, but are appealing.