What Florida got from Dr. Rekers

Gay anti-gay crusaders are an old, old story, as we all know.

What stunned me in this case was what Florida–the only state that outright bans adoptions by gay parents–actually got for the more than (much more than) $60,000 of its tax payers’ money it transferred to the Reverend Rekers. Click here for this news story from NBC’s Miami affiliate, which contains a partial transcript of Reker’s expert testimony (which the court deemed “far from neutral and unbiased” and neither “credible” nor “worthy of forming the basis of public policy” and tossed out). Native Americans, it turns out, have just as much reason to be angry with Rekers as gay people do.

If it turned out that a majority of the individuals in the Native-American population, that a majority of them were high risk for one of these things happening [alcoholism, psychiatric disorders, unstable homes, violence] as a lifetime prevalence, there could be a parallel rationale for excluding them, as adoptive parents, because it would be not only them, they would tend to hang around each other. So the children would be around a lot of other Native-Americans, who are doing the same sorts of things, you know.
So it would be a high risk, and, in fact, since you can’t perfectly predict human behavior, the best you can do and the best the State can do is to look at risk levels, and if a particular kind of household poses multiple high risks for condition that would be detrimental for children, then that would be a rationale for excluding that group.

I’ve been reading about conspiracy theories promoted by American nativists in the nineteenth century. David Brion Davis noted how groups as different as Mormons, Masons, and Roman Catholics were described in the same licentious terms. “Why,” he asks, “Did nativist literature dwell so persistently on themes of brutal sadism and sexual immorality?” Nativists deplored their enemies’ supposed freedom from conscience and conventional morality, he surmises, “but they could not conceal a throbbing note of envy.”

“When the images of different enemies conforms to a similar pattern,” he writes, “It is highly probable that this pattern reflects important tensions within a given culture.”

Plus ça change, as they say.

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