Shouldn’t we all be happy when fathers—even single fathers—want to participate in their children’s lives? That’s not what the Sutherland Institute thinks. The think tank sent an amicus brief to the Utah Court of Appeals, encouraging the state to maintain one of the most restrictive adoption laws in the nation. The law elevates mothers above fathers in adoption cases involving unintended pregnancies. Bobby Nevares is seeking custody of his son, whose mother placed him for adoption in Utah. Sutherland doesn’t like single-parent homes (or same-sex parents, either), saying that the “natural family” of a mom and dad is best. Of an estimated 70.1 million fathers, only 1.96 million were single dads in 2012, according to census figures. Research underlines the importance of fathers’ involvement, even if single. But Sutherland prefers the appearance of a “natural family” to the quality of love and responsibility.
And on the fatherhood note, it looks like the Utah Senate just rejected a judicial nominee because she was biased against fathers in custody battles. In the case against nominee Catherine Conklin, a child was in her mother’s custody and was killed while her mother was driving impaired. Hindsight is 20-20, and certainly Utah courts tend to err on the mother’s side, but this is really a question of second-guessing judicial rulings. The Senate did the same thing in 2008, when it rejected 3rd District Judge Robert Hilder, who’d ruled on gun issues. Maybe you expect this of the very politicized U.S. Senate, but shouldn’t our lawmakers being making decisions based on qualifications rather than unpopular rulings?
OK, this is barely surprising, but an MIT study shows that more people die from pollution related to transportation and power generation than from car crashes. Meanwhile, Gov. Gary Herbert has tapped a “clean air action team” to address this major problem along the Wasatch Front. The 38 members are supposed to come up with “new solutions.” Well, we know they’re not going to stop building highways or tell the petroleum plants to move out, so what can we expect? More mass transit? If they’re willing to put money in, they might consider what Dutch scientists have discovered: a pavement that literally “eats” smog. Special paving blocks can reduce nitrogen oxides up to 45 percent, according to the Journal of Hazardous Materials. Sure, it’s pricey, but so is air pollution.