Karen Handel, the Republican congressional candidate running against Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia — their runoff election is on Tuesday — told a voter that her “faith calls” her to oppose adoption rights for the woman’s lesbian daughter and other members of the LGBT+ community.
When asked about same-sex couples adopting children, something she has opposed in the past, Handel first told reporters that her faith called her “to a very different place on these issues.” Handel, who is trailing Ossoff by a slim margin in the polls heading into Tuesday, doubled down on that answer when she was approached by a concerned mother.
The mother said to Handel:
“My daughter is part of the LGBT community and, as a mom, I’m like, ‘What protections do I have for her having a family in the future, for being able to adopt and have kids?’ There’s part of me that has the conservative nature, but then there’s the other part of me that’s like, ‘I accept my daughter,’ so I’m split and torn.”
Handel, looking and sounding dismissive of the mother, responded:
“Look, I have to be honest, my faith calls me to a different place on the issue. My faith also calls me to be compassionate, so I’ll try to do that.”
To put that another way, Handel’s Christian faith, which most Christians would say is about love and acceptance and forgiveness, compels her to discriminate against same-sex couples and deny them the right to a family. She’d rather let a child go unadopted than putting one in the care of a loving gay or lesbian couple.
Handel added that she isn’t “aware of anything in the law” that discriminates against same-sex couples.
“I’m not aware of anything in the law, right now, that I’m aware of, that is gonna be impactful from a discriminatory standpoint against your daughter.”
There are actually a number of cities and even states that actively discriminate against members of the LGBT community — including on matters of adoption — but I suppose that works against Handel’s narrative.
Handel continued speaking condescendingly to the mother by bringing up the powers of the U.S. Supreme Court, implying that the issue has been settled and that politicians can’t change it. Either she doesn’t understand that the Court’s power changes with every presidential SCOTUS appointment or she’s trying to ignore reality. Needless to say, the Court’s past rulings aren’t necessarily set in stone, and there are still ways to legally discriminate against LGBTQ people. That’s why we must continue being vocal about these issues.
For his part, Ossoff has been a consistent supporter of the LGBT community:
You will be able to count on me to stand up for you every day. I will never shy away from standing with the LGBT community publicly, forcefully, with everything I’ve got. … There can be no compromise on civil rights; there can be no compromise on human rights.
For those who care about this issue, there’s no question which candidate is on the side of civil rights and which one would do everything in her power to oppose them.
Vote wisely, 6th District.