Gay out-of-state adoptive parents no longer recognized in Oklahoma
May 05 2004 12:00 AM ET
Oklahoma governor Brad Henry has signed a bill overturning the attorney general's opinion that recognized adoptions by out-of-state gay and lesbian couples.
Sen. James Williamson, author of the measure, said he is pleased with Henry's action. "I believe it is important to affirm the voice of the majority of Oklahomans, who don't feel like homosexual couples should be recognized as adoptive parents of children," the senate's GOP leader said Tuesday.
The issue arose when out-of-state gay couples who had adopted children from Oklahoma began seeking birth certificates from the state health department. Williamson said the change in law will permit the health agency to issue birth certificates to only one member of a gay couple, a policy it had followed before Atty. Gen. Drew Edmondson's opinion was rendered.
Edmondson, while saying gay marriage is unlawful in Oklahoma, said state law requires agencies to recognize same-sex unions in other states. "This [measure] made it clear that the statutory basis for that opinion was no longer valid," Williamson said. Williamson is also the sponsor of a proposed constitutional amendment, now headed for the November ballot, that would ban same-sex marriage in the state.
"Governor Henry's support for this legislation is disgusting and goes against Democratic principles that value American families," said Dave Noble, executive director for the National Stonewall Democrats. "This law threatens abandoned and orphaned children by refusing to afford them stable, loving homes."