March 30, 2006

More on the Infamous Rep. Maggart

I recently wrote about Tennessee State Representative Debra Maggart's comments regarding her views on homosexuals as potential adoptive parents. To briefly summarize, she is opposed because of all the issues she feels GLBT people have, making them unfit in her view to adopt and raise a child.

Just in case there was any question about Rep. Maggart's statements being taken out of context or misunderstood, this article in Nashville's Tennessean newspaper should clear that up. She told the paper, "I don't wish to discriminate against anyone.....but (gays) have issues."

Yeah, and so do some legislators. In this case, ignorance and bigotry are two of them.

I address this issue again because I wanted to link a letter that fellow blogger Bill Ware, a Tennessee resident, wrote to Rep. Maggart. He makes some excellent points and it is well worth reading.

Hopefully Rep. Maggart can gain some understanding from Bill's words.


  1. .....but (gays) have issues."

    Yes, they do, and one of them just came out in a recent report that perhaps 25% of gay men have thought seriously about or attempted suicide.

    I wonder what would make such a large number of people consider something so drastic and permanent as a viable alternative. Perhaps it's the constant negative treatment and hurtful words by ignorant people in leadership positions in our society. There's the whole story about the sticks and stones, but words do start to hurt - just read any book about the verbal abuse from jailers toward prisoners of war in techniques for dehumanizing them.

  2. Thanks Jim, my letter has become popular thanks to you and others.

    Some letters I've seen are a bit unseemly, which doesn't help IMHO. My grandmother always taught me to be polite.

  3. I agree with Jarrall's comment. We've dehumanized homosexuals. Having "issues" isn't what makes someone unfit to parent and even if it was you cannot generalize so much as to say that "gays have issues." This is a really bad argument against homosexual parenting.

  4. Wes,

    I agree, over generalization is just one step away from stereotyping. If that doesn't work, they do the opposite. For example, the 2000 census found gay households, on average, have incomes about $5,000 higher than all households. Income and education are important factors in successful child rearing. Instead, they look at studies that match families on all other factors including these two to show some minor differences. Ha! They wipe out generalizations when it suits them and they over generalize when it suits them, any which way to distort the overall truth of the matter. My post In life, all other child rearing factors are not equal goes into this in more detail. Bill

  5. Christopher WalkerMon Apr 24, 11:13:00 PM EDT

    A lot of people have challenged her on what she said, but she reacts with self-righteous defensiveness.

    I was relieved to learn that this Debra Maggart isn't running unopposed for re-election. There's a normal-looking, sane-sounding veteran, Christian family guy running against her. His name is Patrick Gardner, and his web site is at

    I think I'm gonna send him a few bucks. I get so tired of reading stories like the one you profiled, and getting angry, but having nothing practical that I can do in response. Maybe if I actually *do* something this time, my blood pressure will go down. And in a small, rural district like that, if a certain number of folks make an effort to help, maybe Rep. Maggart will get a surprise in November when the votes are counted.