Richard and Anthony Harland -Bennett have been together for 23 years. But they say they’re always in fear of losing their daughter, Amber.
“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have to offer, we’re not going to consider you as a parent. And that’s unjust and unfair,” says Richard, of the current bill being considered. Richard and his partner, Anthony, adopted their 5 year old daughter in 2002.
The couple joined throngs of others opposed to Senate Bill 68, which aims to prevent couples like Richard and Anthony from adopting..or fostering children.
“It’s a pretty known fact that children are much better off in a stable environment…a loving environment. And I believe that to be a married man and woman,” said Sen. Gary Tapp, R-Shelbyville, who is sponsoring the legislation.
Tapp and other supporters say this bill is not targeted at homosexual couples. But the gay community believes it is.
“It is hate that our family has experienced first hand in Kentucky. It is the hate that ought to be banned…and not our family,” said Anthony Harland-Bennett, speaking to dozens gathered in the Capital Rotunda Wednesday.
The bill’s language says adoption or foster care would be prohibited by applicants with a sexual partner outside of marriage.
“Research indicates that co-habitating unmarried couples break up three times more often than married couples,” said David Edmunds with The Family Foundation.
“There is not a single member of the legislature I am here to bet you who does not know of a couple who are raising children in a very desirable manner,” said Sen. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington.
The bill is waiting to be heard in the Senate judicial committee.