Anti-Gay Adoption Law Hits Close To Home

An Oklahoma law that bans same-sex adoptions will be challenged again, this time in the urban stronghold of Denver.

Wait, what?

That’s right. A federal court in Denver will be deciding if it should be legal to recognize homosexual parents in the state of Oklahoma.The Denver Post explains:

When Ed Swaya and Gregory Hampel of Seattle adopted their daughter Vivian, now 4, they counted on her eventually getting to know her birth mother in Oklahoma.

But now they’re wary of even entering Oklahoma until a federal court in Denver decides the fate of an unprecedented state law that would challenge adoption rights of same-sex couples….

“This is about my daughter’s rights,” Swaya said. “We will not go to Oklahoma now, and that is hurting my daughter. My daughter has a right to know her birth mother.”

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), “beliefs that gay and lesbian adults are not fit parents likewise have no empirical foundation,” and “Lesbian and heterosexual women have not been found to differ markedly either in their overall mental health or in their approaches to child rearing.”

In 1973, the APA de-categorized homosexuality as a mental disorder, after extensive research. Later on, they found that being raised by a same-sex couple did not inhibit sexual, personal, or social development.


Oklahoma’s effort stood out. “We’ve seen nothing like that before,” said Carrie Evans, state legislative director for the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group in Washington, D.C.

Colorado-based Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian group, opposes gay adoption, said its spokeswoman, Carrie Earll.

“Are we advancing a bill to ban it? Not now,” she said.

Could Colorado set the precedent for discriminatory laws against homosexual parents? Only time will tell.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at

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