Relations Reporting on marriage, family, and sexuality

Canadian Christian couple can adopt after all

Family | The province of Alberta initially rejected the parents because of their faith
by Kiley Crossland
Posted 5/11/18, 01:16 pm

A Canadian province has reversed its decision to deny a Christian couple’s application to adopt because of their Biblical beliefs about sexuality and gender.

In May 2017, Alberta’s Child and Family Services officially denied the couple’s application, stating that their religious beliefs about gender and sexuality were a rejection of LGBT children and at odds with the Alberta government.

The couple, known only by their initials C.D. and N.D. in court documents, hold Biblical convictions that homosexuality is a sin, marriage is the God-ordained union of one man and one woman, and God created two distinct and biologically rooted genders.

During their home study, the couple reiterated their commitment to love and respect any child placed with them, and their application was initially recommended for approval by their agency, Catholic Social Services.

But after further questioning, Catholic Social Services reversed its recommendation for approval, stating the couple would be unable to help a child with sexual identity issues because of their beliefs.

The couple filed for judicial review in November 2017, arguing the denial violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Alberta Bill of Rights, and the Alberta Human Rights Act. The legal challenge stated the decision “created an ideological test that prospective adoptive parents must meet before they may adopt,” noting Alberta Child and Family Services required citizens to discard their sincerely held religious beliefs and “profess agreement with and support for its state-sanctioned beliefs in sexuality and gender.”

Last Tuesday, the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, a Canadian legal advocacy organization that filed the suit on behalf of the couple, released a letter from an administrator at Alberta’s Child and Family Services rescinding the prior denial and approving their application for adoption.

The couple is thrilled, their attorney, John Carpay, told CBC News. “It’s positive that governments are reminded that they cannot discriminate against people on account of religion.”

Carpay said the process has not diminished the couple’s enthusiasm for adopting a child.

The decision is a victory for pro-family advocates in Canada, but the fight is not isolated. Advocates in a number of U.S. states are fighting to ensure the religious convictions of agencies and prospective parents do not disqualify them from participating in adoption.

Associated Press/Photo by Felix Marquez Associated Press/Photo by Felix Marquez A sports park in Matias Romero, Oaxaca

A transgender loophole

Mexican authorities on Tuesday said they are investigating 17 male candidates who are reportedly running as transgender women in local elections to avoid a gender quota.

The southern state of Oaxaca requires an equal number of male and female candidates in local races, but said candidates should register as the gender with which they self-identify.

Transgender advocates reported the candidates—17 of 19 running as transgender females—because they were not part of the transgender community, the majority were married to women with children, and some running for reelection as mayors said nothing in the past about being transgender.

“We reject this fraudulent usurpation of trans identity meant to avoid the obligation of the parties and the candidates to respect the constitutional mandate of gender equality,” a coalition of opponents wrote in a statement.

The state electoral council said the candidates’ political parties could be fined or they could be barred from running in the election if their gender identities were fraudulent.

But the case reveals a fundamental problem with modern gender ideology: If gender is deeply personal, nonbiological, and sometimes fluid, what grounds do officials have to tell anyone their reported identity is fake? —K.C.

Associated Press/Photo by Susan Walsh Associated Press/Photo by Susan Walsh Melania Trump introduces her Be Best initiatives Monday at the White House.

Be Best

In the midst of rising criticism of the detrimental effects of social media on children, first lady Melania Trump this week unveiled a campaign focused on encouraging childhood well-being in today’s “fast-paced and ever-connected world.”

In a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House Monday, the first lady said her initiative, called “Be Best,” will focus on social media use, internet safety, cyberbullying, and opioid abuse.

News outlets immediately harped on similarities between a booklet distributed by the first lady about online safety and information previously given out by the Obama administration. The Federal Trade Commission later confirmed it asked the first lady to distribute the booklet and agreed to the new “Be Best” branding.

On Tuesday, Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for Trump, released a biting statement accusing media of lobbing baseless accusations at the first lady and encouraging them instead to “attempt to Be Best in their own professions and focus on some of the children and programs Mrs. Trump highlighted in her remarks yesterday.” —K.C.

Video gambling for children

Legislators across the country have introduced bills to protect children from what some believe is a gateway to gambling: video game “loot boxes.” The digital boxes are purchased using real money and unlock randomized rewards in games such as character outfits or powerful weapons.

Lawmakers in California, Hawaii, Indiana, Minnesota, and Washington are fighting to make games with loot boxes illegal for minors, according to The New York Times.

A Minnesota bill introduced late last month would prohibit the sale of games with loot boxes to individuals under age 18 and require the games to include a printed warning on the box, stating, “This game contains a gambling-like mechanism that may promote the development of a gaming disorder that increases the risk of harmful mental or physical health effects and may expose the user to significant financial risk.”

In April, the Belgium Gaming Commission declared games with loot boxes illegal. Failure to comply by game publishers could result in a 800,000 euro ($950,000) fine and up to five years in prison. —K.C.

Abuse of power

In a sickening case decided last week, a former Kentucky district judge was sentenced to 20 years in prison for human trafficking and other sex crimes involving minors. Timothy Nolan, 71, was a Campbell County district judge in the late 1970s and early ’80s, a practicing attorney, an elected member of the local school board, and a conservative political activist. He pleaded guilty to charges involving 19 women, seven under age 16. The majority of Nolan’s victims were addicted to opioids, and he was convicted of using their addictions to force them to comply with sexually abusive demands. Nolan received the maximum possible sentence for human-trafficking charges. —K.C.

Medically necessary?

Portugal’s president this week vetoed a bill that would have allowed citizens age 16 and older to change their genders on official documents without a medical report. President Marcelo Rebelo sent the bill back to lawmakers on Wednesday, asking them to include a mandatory medical report for minors. —K.C.

Kiley Crossland

Kiley is a WORLD Digital assistant editor and reports on marriage, family, and sexuality.

Read more from this writer

Comments

  • Laura W
    Posted: Sat, 05/12/2018 05:45 am

    Nice idea about the loot boxes, but I have to wonder how many games are bought in physical form anymore, or are even bought at all. (Many games are free to download and start playing, but then require payment for things like loot boxes or other perks.) They'll have to be creative if they're going to catch all the possibilities.

ADVERTISEMENT