Chrisler/Manford Op-Ed Responding to GOP gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel

You may recall Georgia’s Republican candidate for governor, Karen
Handel, recently said gay people were unfit parents and not
legitimate. This morning Family Equality Council responded to Ms.
Handel in an op-ed
in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Jenn Chrisler and Ken
Manford penned the piece inviting Handel to dinner.

Twelve thousand children are in the
Georgia foster care system. The state characterizes these kids as
either “given up by their parents voluntarily” or “removed
from their homes by the state due to abuse, neglect or

The sad thing is that there are
plenty of prospective parents in Georgia who want to adopt, loving
gay couples who are ready to open their hearts and homes. But the
state frowns on qualified gays and lesbians adopting, so they sit
on the sidelines.
In the end, adoption is about children and whether or not they will
get permanent homes. If it were up to Handel, she would allow
Georgia’s foster children to suffer.

The GOP candidate admitted in the
interview she does not know any gay parents. It’s common to fear
that which you do not know.

We invite her to dinner to meet us
and our children, to get a glimpse into life as a gay family. If
she cares enough about children waiting for homes she will say yes.
She will say yes to experiencing a typical family meal, yes to
witnessing love and yes to probably some spilled spaghetti on the

One of us adopted a 5-month-old boy
from Guatemala who needed a loving home. He found one.

And one of us has twin 8-year-old
boys who are excelling both in school and Little League. They set
and clear the dinner table and are beginning to remember their
manners. They’re happy and productive boys.

But don’t believe us. The Child
Welfare League of America, American Academy of Pediatrics and
American Medical Association all endorse gay parenting.