Liberal northeasterners? | Arkansas Blog

Friday, July 14, 2006

Liberal northeasterners?

Posted By on Fri, Jul 14, 2006 at 8:38 AM

In this op-ed in today's New York Times, Arkansas comes off looking more progressive than New York on the subject of gay parenting:

The critical question, expressed in a plurality opinion by three members of the New York court, is whether a “rational legislature” could decide that the benefits of marriage should be granted to opposite-sex couples but not to same-sex couples. The opinion then answered in the affirmative with two different arguments. While both related to the interests of children, they differed significantly in vintage and tone.

The more traditional argument stated that the Legislature could reasonably suppose that children would fare better under the care of a mother and father. Like most arguments against gay marriage, this “role model” argument assumes straight couples are better guides to life than gay couples.

And like other blatantly anti-gay arguments, it falls apart under examination. In a decision last month in a case concerning gay foster parents, the Arkansas Supreme Court found no evidence that children raised by gay couples were disadvantaged compared with children raised by straight couples.

But the New York court also put forth another argument, sometimes called the “reckless procreation” rationale. “Heterosexual intercourse,” the plurality opinion stated, “has a natural tendency to lead to the birth of children; homosexual intercourse does not.” Gays become parents, the opinion said, in a variety of ways, including adoption and artificial insemination, “but they do not become parents as a result of accident or impulse.”

Consequently, “the Legislature could find that unstable relationships between people of the opposite sex present a greater danger that children will be born into or grow up in unstable homes than is the case with same-sex couples.”

Also, in a separate article, the NYTimes mentions Eureka Springs as an "up-and-coming" national gay tourism destination:

“The big gay Meccas used to be Provincetown, Palm Springs and Southern Florida, period,” said Scott Coatsworth, who has operated an online guide to gay-owned inns, PurpleRoofs.com, since 1998. “Over the last few years, though, we’ve seen several other up-and-coming destinations develop — most notably Ogunquit in Maine, the Saugatuck area in Michigan, Eureka Springs in Arkansas, and Guerneville, Calif. Many of these places have historically been gay friendly, but they’ve become more widely known in the last few years, in large part because of the Internet.”

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