By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com May 15 2012 5:50 PM ET
The Human Rights Campaign says that Mitt Romney's assertion that "all states but one allow gay adoption" trivializes the inequalities same-sex couples face.
In an interview with WBTV News in Charlotte, N.C., last week, Romney added, "That’s a position that’s been decided by most of the state legislatures, so I simply acknowledge the fact that gay adoption is legal in all of the states but one.”
According to the HRC, same-sex couples cannot adopt in Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, and Utah, while second-parent adoption is explicitly legal in just 26 states. Joint adoption is explicitly legal in 18 states and the District of Columbia. And in states where some form of adoption for same-sex couples exists, 29 states have no protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation, and 34 states do not prohibit discrimination based on gender identity.
HRC vice president Fred Sainz said Romney's remarks last week "are wrong and worse, they trivialize the very real and persistent obstacles qualified LGBT individuals and couples face in adopting and starting families."
He added, "Every year, there are hundreds of thousands of kids who desperately need their forever family. LGBT individuals and families are perfectly qualified to provide that loving home. Leading medical, mental health and child welfare organizations have said time and again that sexual orientation and gender identity have absolutely nothing to do with the ability to be a parent to a child in need of a loving home. Governor Romney should clarify his muddled position and embrace adoption by loving and committed gay and lesbian parents.”