According to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System, there are nearly 428,000 children on average within the foster care system every year and 25 percent of them are Black.
There are literally hundreds of thousands of worthy children who could use a loving household. On Monday, the attempt to lessen that number became that much harder as the Georgia Senate passed a measure that gives adoption agencies the right NOT to work with LGBTQ couples. The bill sponsored by Republicans passed the Georgia State House in a vote of 35-19.
We’ve heard this before
Sanctioned discrimination is nothing new for LGBTQ people, as we have seen several times where states are willing to go against federal mandates in an effort to deny us the rights we have been afforded. National headlines were made in 2015 when Kim Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky, denied a gay couple’s marriage license because of her religious beliefs despite the federal law making gay marriage legal in every state. This type of defiance is often supported by those who use theological violence as a weapon against the LGBTQ community.
Since taking office, the Trump administration has done everything in its power to create roadblocks and barriers for the LGBTQ community, specifically those who are Black. His removal of the Office of National Aids Policy, followed by a request to reduce HIV funding, and the disbanding of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS has been a direct attack on Black LGBTQ people who remain one of the highest populations affected by the virus. This was followed by a request to remove seven words from the CDC budget requests including “transgender”, “diversity”, and “vulnerable,” which again would primarily hurt those Black and brown LGBTQ. Let’s not forget that we are still in court fighting a transgender military ban that came out of nowhere and shocked even high-ranking military officials who had no clue it was even an item for discussion.
All Black lives matter
This trend of attacking the Black LGBTQ community is one that will continue if folks don’t get more vocal about all Black lives mattering, even if those lives are not hetero. It is unfortunate that we still have to see trans women and Black queer children murdered for being true to who they are or suffering through attempted suicides at almost eight times the rate of hetero children. Yet, it is almost never discussed above a whisper. If states can attack the most marginalized within our community, then they can eventually attack us all. Each of us has to understand and accept that lobbying for LGBTQ rights is a social justice issue and has the same importance as other issues within the Black community.
There are a lot of people who are pro-life until the child is born gay, transgendered or queer. Then it quickly becomes an anti-LGBTQ situation. Let me remind you that LGBTQ people are human first, and identity politics hasn’t saved a soul. We have just as much a right to adopt and raise children as any other citizen in this country.
Homophobia has no place in a loving home or in the ability of choosing parents to provide one for children who need and deserve it.
George M. Johnson is a Black queer journalist and activist located in the NYC area. He has written for TheRoot, ET, HIVequal, TeenVogue, NBC News and several other major publications. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram