- The Washington Times - Monday, June 12, 2000

Two comments about homosexuals adopting children[p]

A statistical reality check is in order regarding homosexual parenting. In "Homosexuals' children not of one mind on adoptions" (Culture, et cetera, June 7), it states that "as of 1990, between 6 million and 14 million children were being raised in homosexual households."

This figure comes from homosexual activists and has no credible basis. Since there are about 80 million children in the United States under age 18, that would mean that as many as one in every six children is being raised by homosexuals.

A reasonable estimate of homosexuals is 2.7 million to 5.4 million (1 percent to 2 percent of the population). This means that every single homosexual in America would have to be raising at least one and possibly several children to arrive at the 6 million to 14 million children being raised in such households.

It gets more absurd when you consider another statistic cited in the article: Children are supposedly present in 21.6 percent of lesbian homes and 5.2 percent of homosexual homes. Let's be generous and say that there are 5 million homosexuals. Since only a small minority of that number (5.2 percent and 21.6 percent, respectively) are raising children, that means every homosexual parent would have to be raising six to 10 children to arrive at the (mythical) 6 million to 14 million figure.

Statistics regarding homosexuality are often notoriously inflated, such as the old, discredited Kinsey-spawned 10 percent estimate of homosexuality in the population. These numbers should always be viewed with a skeptical eye.

ROBERT H. KNIGHT

Senior director for cultural studies

Family Research Council

Washington

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In "Homosexuals' children not of one mind on adoptions," the article says that many questions in the debate about adoptions by homosexuals and lesbians will be answered when the adoptees are grown and are "capable of reflecting on their childhoods."

Although I am not adopted, I am the grown daughter of a father who is a homosexual. I strongly believe that competency of parents should be based on their ability to support, love and nurture their children, instead of basing parents' competency on sexual orientation.

When grown adoptees of homosexual and lesbian parents reflect on their childhood, I hope they will consider themselves fortunate to have been raised by parents who loved and wanted them.

The tragedy in this debate are the children who could spend their entire childhood on a waiting list because they live in states that ban homosexuals and lesbians from adopting.

All that those children will have to reflect on will be the reality that ignorance and bigotry prevented them from ever having parents at all.

ABIGAIL GARNER

Minneapolis

The fight for political power played in the media

In response to the insightful June 6 letter by Thomas J. Ryan, "Defeating liberal bias in media through ownership": He is correct to challenge Robert McFarland's and Herb Berkowitz's belief that all conservatives can do is work at the margins of the major media and indulge them. This view shows a lack of vision and courage in the so-called leaders of the conservative movement. Conservative leaders will never have any long-term success unless they understand, as Mr. Ryan does, where the true power in our society resides, and it is not in Congress or the presidency.

I remember telling my wife when the Republicans won control of Congress in 1994 that as soon as the shock wore off in the media, we would see a vicious assault by the media against the new majority and that I would be surprised if the Republicans kept their majority very long. The assault did occur, and to my surprise, the Republicans have held the majority (if barely), but the media have made them ineffective. Republicans are afraid, and rightfully so, that if they try to enact a Constitution-friendly agenda, they will be crucified by the media and will lose their seats in Congress.

Mr. Ryan is right. The only way this ideological war will be won will be if those who truly believe in our founding principles of liberty and limited government realize that we have been fighting on the wrong battlefield. While I believe it is important that we conservatives still work in the political process, we must never forget where we must put most of our resources. Until we start having a voice in the debate, which can only occur if we have ownership of media outlets, all political victories will be short-lived or nonexistent. Even if Texas Gov. George W. Bush and the Republicans win the election, it will be only a matter of time until they are replaced by Democrats or are made, in effect, useless. We already have seen it happen as the Republicans have run with their collective tail between their legs time after time when the media have gone on the attack.

Working toward ownership of the media is not an easy challenge. In fact, it will be a far more difficult challenge than the political one because much more is at stake the very soul of our nation. The left is fully aware where its power base lies and will defend that base with all of its might, but it is our responsibility to engage those on the left. If we do not, they will continue to deceive the American people and take us ever closer to tyranny.

JOHN RAGLAND

Leonardtown, Md.

Tax money should not be used to modify submarines for women

I recently attended a meeting of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS). As a former member and vice chairman of the committee, I previously participated in committee discussions on the issue of women on submarines. After hearing the recent Navy briefings and listening to the DACOWITS discussions, I was surprised and disappointed that the committee made the recommendation to the secretary of defense that submarines be open to women.

This is not a gender issue. Women are capable of performing every job on a submarine; this has never been in question. The question is: What is best for our national defense and for our men and women in uniform? We should not be spending limited defense dollars to retrofit submarines to accommodate women. This is simply not the best use of our tax dollars.

When our submariners' habitability conditions fail to meet minimum standards issued by the chief of naval operations, we are not looking after our sailors to suggest that those standards be further eroded. Using more of the limited space would take from the mission and the benefits that make submarines the assets they are to our national defense.

I have deep respect for DACOWITS and for the hard work of the men and women who serve on the committee. However, the issues of privacy, career progression, unit cohesiveness and, ultimately, cost should have far outweighed the effort toward gender equality.

Perhaps as more and more DACOWITS members tour submarines, they will change their stand.

SHEILA M. MCNEILL

Brunswick, Ga.

Sheila McNeill is national vice president of the Navy League of the United States and former vice chairman of DACOWITS.

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Elaine Donnelly's column on the efforts of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) clearly outlines the arrogance and stupidity of its proposal to "man" our submarines with both enlisted women and female officers ("Stealth attack on silent service," Commentary, June 8).

I continue to be amazed at people who recommend and mandate changes concerning things of which they have no knowledge, even in the face of conflicting opinions from experts who have spent their careers in the profession.

I wonder what the reaction of DACOWITS would be if I would make sweeping statements and recommendations on how best to deal with pregnancy and childbirth? I, of course, wouldn't because I know nothing about those issues. But ignorance doesn't seem to be a deterrence at DACOWITS.

DOUGLAS MACMILLAN

St. Charles, Ill.

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