In November of 2019, the Trump administration's Department of Health and Human Services proposed a discriminatory rule that would allow foster care and adoption agencies to refuse to work with prospective LGBTQ adoptive parents based on religious objections. During a hearing in February to discuss this rule, openly gay Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, who has represented New York's 18th Congressional district since 2013, delivered an impassioned and personal testimony against the proposal.
"Good parents are good parents," he said. "Bad parents are bad parents — it doesn't matter what they look like, or who they love."
For Representative Maloney and his husband Randy Florke the issue is personal. Together, the couple have adopted three children. "I've been with my husband for almost 28 years," he said. "We were allowed to get married just five years ago, and for 27 of those years we've been raising children." The couple adopted their oldest child when he was not quite three years old, he said — and was barely eating solid foods. "He was sleeping in a drawer. He was living in squalor in one of the toughest neighborhoods in New York City." The boy's parents were heroine addicts, he explained, and unable to care for him.
"We didn't set out to be parents," he said. "But someone asked us if we could help, and we said we would." It was the "greatest thing" to happen to the couple, he said.
Watch the full testimony below: