A San Francisco gay adoption lawyer and
dad has been recognized for his tireless commitment to the issue of
adoption by gay men and lesbians by the Jewish Family and Children's
Service (JFCS), reports gay weekly Bay Area Reporter.
Gay dad Charlie Spiegel accepted the
JFCS's Fammy Award at the group's annual gala and fundraiser on March
Spiegel has been involved with the
issue for more than 20 years. In 1977, Spiegel became a father
himself when he adopted his 12-year-old daughter Nora. In addition
to two decades of volunteering at JFCS's Adoption Connection, his law
practice specializes in helping gay and lesbian couples adopt.
“When the right wing wants to win an
anti-gay proposition they involve children,” Spiegel told the
“Families with gay children are at
the center of these fights. We need to get out there in an
affirmative way and say these are our families,” he added.
Gay adoption has become a heated issue
in recent months. Florida's gay adoption ban appears to be
crumbling: A bill has been introduced in the Legislature that would
repeal the ban and a lawsuit appears headed to the state Supreme
Court. Either win would end the ban.
But in several Southern states the
march to ban gay adoption continues. Arkansas voters approved a
measure in November that restricts adoption to married couples in a
state that does not allow gay marriage. This is becoming an effective weapon against
gay couples who wish to adopt. During the 2009 legislative session,
two states – Tennessee and Kentucky – have introduced similar
bills. The Kentucky measure appears to have stalled out after
legislative leaders refused to bring it up for a vote.
“I could never have imagined the joys
of having a child,” Spiegel said in accepting his award. “It's a
wonderful, wonderful gift.”
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