Thu Dec 08 16:22:56 SAST 2016

Cry foul the beloved country - discrimination and adoptions

Bruce Gorton | 2013-09-09 10:50:01.0
A Catholic priest bows towards a crucifix. File photo.
Image by: DAVID GRAY / REUTERS

There are a few things I, as a South African, have always felt that I could feel proud of.

As an atheist I have always felt kind of proud of how our nation does not particularly discriminate on grounds of religion.

Our constitution, driven to a large degree by the ANC, is one of the most progressive ones in the world, and our nation is ultimately a secular nation.

Poppy Louw’s article on how our foreign adoption agencies are being run shattered this illusion of equality.

“Prospective adoptive parents from overseas allege that most agencies overseeing inter-country adoptions discriminate against homosexuals, non-Christians and single individuals.”

This is the sort of thing I would expect to be slamming America for, not my own country.

There are many who will claim that being against gay adoption is just political correctness, and the ‘two daddies’ scenario is harmful to the child.

To these people, I point out that actual research has been done on LGBT adoptions, and that research has found that the children suffer no disadvantages. To proclaim that such discrimination is wrong is not a matter of being politically correct; it is a matter of being simply correct.

It is often claimed that culture is important, and thus that requiring prospective adoptive parents to be Christians may be excusable on these grounds.

When we claim we do something because of culture, it is because we know that otherwise it is inexcusable.

Culture is what gave us Apartheid, culture is what gave us colonialism, culture is what gives us girl children being kidnapped into marriage, culture is what gives us racism, tribalism and xenophobia. Culture is a cage designed to keep the sheep separated while the wolves dine on lamb.

Culture is invariably an engine of injustice, because whenever an injustice occurs there will be somebody proclaiming that as their culture. Culture is nothing more than an excuse.

The interests of the child must come first, and those interests are not served by discrimination on religious grounds.

When we have organisations like ABBA requiring people to prove that they are Christians with a letter from their church, that they be straight and that they be married for five years in order to adopt a child, we see their cold callous calculus.

They would rather express their disapproval of certain religious views and lifestyles, than see a child growing up in a loving family. Those children who remain in institutions when there are willing, loving parents available are but collateral damage in their culture wars.

I blame the ANC for a lot of this, because ultimately we have laws which are supposed to prevent this sort of thing. Our very constitution does not allow this sort of thing.

And yet it still happens because without enforcement, laws are just pieces of paper with ink on them.

We are the rainbow nation, we should not be spitting on the rainbow flag by not allowing gay people to adopt. We are a nation proud of our diversity of views and ideologies, how can we allow such minor differences as religion dictate who gets to adopt?

This is not the South Africa that was promised in 1994.

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