Democrats Ban Gay Adoption

Mississippi Senate Unanimously Approves Gay Adoption Ban

Judy Gerber,
April 20, 2000 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

The Mississippi Senate [34-D, 18-R] gave final, unanimous approval on Wednesday to Senate Bill 3074, banning adoptions by same-sex couples. Gov. Ronnie Musgrove [D] is expected to sign it into law in the next week.

"This is just an invitation to litigate," David Ingebretsen, director of the Mississippi chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, told Associated Press. "There was pressure from the religious right, and they caved in to that pressure." Ingebretsen says the ACLU already has a couple trying to adopt who may be interested in serving as the test case.

The president of the Mississippi Baptist Convention cheered the new law. The Rev. Kermit D. McGregor told the Jackson's Clarion-Ledger, "We would stand behind them and urge them to continue to stand for the traditional values of family, home and Christian values that Mississippi has enjoyed through these years."

Gay rights activists were hopeful last month after the bill died in the state House. A coalition of organizations had waged a "phone home" campaign to legislators that encouraged House speaker Tim Ford to let the bill die before it could come to a vote.

In response, the Mississippi Baptist Convention and American Family Association waged a counter-lobbying campaign which led the House [85-D, 33-R, 3-I, 1-V] to tag an amendment onto unrelated Senate legislation, empowering nurse practitioners to sign adoption papers.

Mississippi follows Utah as the second state to ban gay adoptions this year. Florida also has a ban on same-sex adoptions.