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The Mississippi Code Must Go Essay

1622 words - 6 pages

The decisions made in government affect not only our lives as individuals, but they affect our families as well. The laws placed at a national level are usually widely accepted, though state and local level laws can be more specific and less respected. For example, in Bartlesville, Oklahoma it is illegal for a person to own more than two adult cats (Bartlesville). Other laws may not seem as silly as that one, but can be just as unfair. According to the Mississippi Code of 1972, adoption by couples of the same gender is prohibited (Mississippi). This state law affects the lives of homosexuals in Mississippi in a big way, prohibiting them from living a full life of freedom. It is disappointing and ironic that this law limits individual freedom, though America was built on freedom.
The Mississippi Code of 1972, Section 93-17-3, was created in 1972, and recently amended in 2004. It is strictly a state law which prohibits couples of the same gender to adopt children. Mississippi is one of the few states that implement such a restriction. By doing so, the Mississippi government creates the perception that it does not want gay couples raising children.
Although the Mississippi government may not want gay couples raising children, there is a loophole. Nowhere in the section does it say anything about the prohibition of a single homosexual person adopting a child. Technically, a homosexual can adopt a child by acting alone, while sharing a home with their partner. This way a couple of the same gender can legally raise a child together, though one of them will not officially be an adoptive parent of the child they are raising. Unless a strict watch is kept over the homosexuals that adopt children as single parents, this section of the Mississippi Code of 1972 can be easily avoided.
This policy stresses the concept of the nuclear family as the best type of family. The nuclear family is a kinship unit composed of a husband, wife, and children. Of course there is an understood acceptance of other family types, but the main view of a good family comes in the form of a man and woman together. Thus, controversy arises regarding the state of Mississippi’s perception of a good environment to raise a child; this law suggests that even a single parent household is better than a dual same-gendered parent household.
Mississippi is not alone in their quest to promote the nuclear family. According to Diversity in Families, Alabama’s Supreme Court believes that a child growing up with a violent father is much better than being raised by a lesbian mother (Eitzen 329). Moreover, Arkansas bans gay individuals from adopting children, and homosexuals are not even permitted to live in the same household as an adopted child (Eitzen 329).
The support of the nuclear family has always been the strongest in any government, but any other family type has to fight for their right to be seen as a normal family in society. The law prohibiting same-gendered...

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