John McCain – the presumptive Republican presidential nominee – said in an interview with The New York Times [published Sunday] that he opposed allowing same-sex couples to adopt children.
An estimated 65,000 children have been adopted by gays and lesbians. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association and the National Association of Social Workers, among other groups, have expressed support for gay adoption.
Ignoring research and professional opinion, McCain said, “I think that we’ve proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no, I don’t believe in gay adoption.”
When asked in the interview if he opposed gay adoptions even if the alternative was that the child remain in an orphanage, Mr. McCain – who, with his wife, Cindy, has an adopted daughter – said that he wanted to encourage adoption and make the process easier, but that adoptive parents should be mixed-sex, traditional couples.
His statements were criticized by a number of gay rights organizations, so his campaign clarified his remarks.
“John McCain could have been clearer in the interview in stating that his position on gay adoption is that it is a state issue, just as he made it clear in the interview that marriage is a state issue,” Tucker Bounds, a campaign spokesman, said in a statement. “He was not endorsing any federal legislation.”
“Senator McCain’s expressed his personal preference for children to be raised by a mother and a father wherever possible,” Mr. Bounds said in the statement. But the statement added, “He recognizes that there are many abandoned children who have yet to find homes. John McCain believes that in those situations that caring parental figures are better for the child than the alternative.”
A leading social conservative group, the Family Research Council, said, “[the] remark only muddies the waters. It’s incumbent on mother-father families to step up so that no child faces a dilemma like this. At the same time, abandoning the mother-father model has a cyclical impact by weakening the traditional family unit. The McCain campaign should not fall into this “lady or the tiger” trap and should emphasize the need to rebuild the natural family.”
Source: The New York Times