Really good news. I’ve posted probably more than a couple of times about the gross injustice perpetrated against my dear friend and her daughter by Florida’s child protective agency, the Department of Children and Families.
They took Sarah away from her mother more than five months ago, and we have been fighting them with every weapon we could pick up ever since. Now, after numerous accusations were filed against Heidi for abuse and neglect, ranging from stealing the child and killing its “real” mother to intentionally and maliciously breaking Sarah’s bones in order to control her, DCF did a complete 180 yesterday, returned Heidi’s daughter to her and indicated that they were dropping the case.
The lies and fabrications they invented were completely outrageous. None of the accusations were true, Sarah’s bones were never broken, and she was in fact Heidi’s daughter.Heidi is the last person in the world to ever abuse or neglect her daughter; quite the contrary. I have long considered Heidi to be the best mom I have ever known.
DCF knew all this from the very beginning, but were motivated criminally to take the child away from her mother simply to add another child to the foster care roster in the state of Florida, bringing in thousands of dollars in Federal money.
The decision by DCF to return Sarah to her mother came quite unexpectedly. Their court filings just last week had indicated that they might be ramping up their case with new accusations. A trial had been scheduled beginning on the 15th, just four days from now. So the reasons for this about face are still unclear, and it may take some time to really understand. Heidi has taken the matter to the state Inspector General, to the FBI, the Justice Department, other local law enforcement agencies, and civil filings have been made. In addition, she had been demanding a bone scan to verify the findings by an independent forensics radiologist that the x-rays DCF had been using to suggest bone fractures actually showed nothing whatsoever. So in several respects, their backs were up against a wall. Perhaps time will tell the true story.
In any case, I don’t think I have been more excited in my entire life by any other event. The trauma this has caused both Heidi and Sarah is unbelievable, an enormous and tragic abuse of a mother and child that has undoubtedly left permanent scars. I’m deeply relieved that this chapter now appears to be coming to an end.
Kim Davis is an interesting case as a political activist. The issue involved — gay marriage — is obviously a very divisive one in the U.S. When presidential candidates step out and support someone like that, it is evident that Davis wasn’t just speaking or acting solely for herself. She obviously knew what the consequences of her act would be. She should have known she was going to jail, and she was willing to go that far to make her point. She became an icon of the conservative right on gay marriage, even a hero in their eyes.
Activists on the left who cry that she is obligated to uphold the constitution, and that her religious cherry-picked views (three divorces, etc.) don’t belong in a state institution, fail to recognize political civil disobedience being engaged in a cause that has substantial public support. Civil disobedience certainly is no stranger to the left, and it seems that a more accurate perspective would be a political one, not a legal or religious one. Kim Davis ought to be applauded for using her position to protest against a law that she didn’t like. The Left could take some lessons from this. I don’t think her religious views matter or that any legal reason matters. This was civil disobedience, plain and simple. The fact is that she believes that the tradition of marriage is somehow the sacrosanct heterosexual ceremony that history shows it to have been up until now, and she believes it to be proprietary, to be held exclusively by heterosexuals. That’s her opinion and she’s sticking to it. Conservatives bring forward all their arguments for why they believe gay marriage is inappropriate, but the simple fact is that they are guarding a long-standing tradition that they do not want to give up. That’s what conservativism is all about. Keep the status quo. Don’t change anything.
I don’t support the opinions of Kay Davis. But I wouldn’t call her dumb, or an asshole, or any of the other blistering names she’s been called. You can agree or not agree with her, but I do support her right to express her political opinions in whatever manner she sees fit. If gays want to entangle themselves in all that legal bullshit associated with formal marriage, I could care less. And since the Supreme Court has issued a ruling on it, there’s nothing more to say. But I do applaud Kay Davis for standing up for what she believes in.
However, marriage is and has always been throughout history a religious institution. Marriage is a cultural function, a way of bringing the blessings of both society and God upon the marriage. it has until recently been largely a function of the church, and as such, religious views are deeply entwined in our beliefs about it. I think the primary problem occurred when the state decided to perform ceremonies and sanction marriage itself. The merging of church with the state occurred then, not in Kay Davis’ actions, and that’s where the mistake has occurred. The state has no business involving itself in the personal values of its citizens. It should not be interfering in cultural traditions whatsoever.
Marriage is not a right. Marriage is something you negotiate. Marriage is a stamp of approval, whether by God or by Ru Paul, because it goes beyond the simple matter of deciding to live with someone, so it should be sought among those willing to approve it. The matter of gay marriage should be left to whatever institutions, religious or not, are willing to conduct such a ceremony.