tagged w/ Gay Adoption
Excerpt: "I probably sound like grandma here, but really — you kids today have no idea how far gay rights have come in such a short period of time. When I was growing up, there was a profoundly painful stigma attached to being gay, gay people were invisible, and the idea of gay marriage was the worst thing ever. Many things are still difficult for LGBTQ people, especially in some areas of this country, and of course gays and lesbians still lack basic human rights that the rest of us take for granted. But we’ve seen some gobsmackingly remarkable progress — and in the context of history, it’s come at warp speed. This is something very powerful for us progressives to hold on to, especially during times when, to paraphrase Wallace Stevens, the world seems so ugly, and people seem so sad.
"Take, for instance, Peter [Mercurio] and his family. I can’t imagine that, for Peter, growing up gay, in that time, in that conservative community, was easy. At all. I don’t know how his parents reacted when he came out, but they’re devout Catholics, and I imagine they struggled quite a bit with it. But now? My mom tells me that they’re basically the most loving and supportive parents ever. They march in all the parades. And they dote on their African-American grandson.
"Justice Scalia and the rest of you haters — game over. You lose. Love wins. Enjoy your future home in the dustbin of history."Excerpt: "I probably sound like grandma here, but really — you kids today... more
1 month ago
She claims that Americans don't care if their gay brother or sister can't have families or serve in the military. She says America isn't concerned. I think she is wrong. Americans do care. She is asked specific questions and doesn't have answers. She clearly doesn't know why she believes what she believes.
Bachmann stutters through this interview. What about gay employees, cousins, sisters, brothers, soldiers, court personnel, and others who are gay? Her views are clear because she surrounds herself with people who agree with her. That is not a good idea especially if you are wrong and your peers are afraid to have a different opinion than yours.She claims that Americans don't care if their gay brother or sister can't... more
On Thursday, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) introduced H.R. 635, the “Parental Title Protection Act,” which would require all federal agencies and contractors to use the words “mother” and “father” when describing parents on all official documents and forms. This bill is a direct attack on actions by the State Department, which we told you about last month, to make passport forms inclusive of all families by adding “parent 1” and “parent 2” alongside “mother” and “father.” In a press release, Forbes argues that “symbolism is important” and that his legislation is necessary to prevent even “subtle” changes that “undermine the traditional American family relationships that have served as the bedrock of our nation since its inception.”
Forbes’ bill ignores the reality of millions of children being raised by same-sex couples in this country. Those children deserve the same recognition and protection from the federal government that other American families enjoy. Rep. Forbes is right that symbolism is important – his bill is emblematic of a brand of Republicans callously willing, time after time, to attack LGBT people and their children in order to score cheap political points.On Thursday, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) introduced H.R. 635, the “Parental Title... more
On Tuesday night, Dec. 14, Rosie O'Donnell and I will be conducting a public conversation in New Jersey about families and kids, the celebrity culture and the effects of fame, balancing work and career, and learning how to inspire our children.
It's a subject Rosie is eminently qualified to address. This is, after all, the woman who walked away from one of television's most successful programs and tens of millions dollars per year in order to raise her children. It will be followed by a fundraiser for Turn Friday Night Into Family Night, our national campaign to create weekly family dinners so that children are prioritized in the lives of their parents.
When I told a religious friend about being inspired by Rosie adopting four children, he said to me, "How sad that these kids are never going to have a father." Lost on him was the irony that without Rosie they would not have a mother either.
Now, Rosie has a media microphone and can fend for herself. But I think about all the other gay adoptive parents who are under assault as being ill-equipped to adopt. We've heard all the arguments. Gay parents who adopt will make their children gay (offensive and stupid). Every child deserves a mother and a father (I addressed this above). Gay is an abomination, to which I would respond that leaving a child to grow up in an orphanage where nobody wants them might be an even greater act of sacrilege.
But to my fellow straight people I offer the following challenge. You have every right to oppose gay marriage. It's a free country. We don't suppress opinions. But aren't you under a moral obligation to adopt the children in their stead? Surely leaving kids to drown without love is deeply immoral. But to stop others from rescuing them is an abomination.
I am the father of nine children, thank G-d. I have at times discussed with my wife the possibility of adopting a child. Every child is a child of G-d, not only our biological children. They should have a home, and we should offer it. But my conversations have never gone past just that, conversations. I stand in awe of all those who actually do it. In my religion, Judaism, there is no higher mitzvah, G-dly deed, than raising a child with no parents as your own. This is G-d's child, and really He should have made provisions for him. But the Creator chooses, for reasons unknown to us, to hide behind the veil of nature, and it is we humans who must fill in the seemingly empty spaces. Those who adopt are society's and religion's greatest heroes.
We all agree that every orphaned child is of infinite value. Some of us, however, pay mere lip service to the ideal. Others dress, feed, and hug these children every day of their lives. They wake up in the middle of the night and nurse crying babies back to sleep. They hug their troubled teenagers and counsel them through life's disappointments. They go to work every day to pay for college and weddings. Gay or straight, they make us all look small by comparison. And it would seem to me that it takes one heck of a lot of chutzpa to tell gay men or women not to adopt when we refuse to do so ourselves.
The same rule would apply to those who insist on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." No problem, oppose gays in the military. It's your right. You believe it compromises military morale and combat readiness. I get it. But surely you're going to sign up yourself, right? You're not just going to deny a gay man or woman the right to fight terrorists who want to blow up innocent children and then spend your nights as a couch potato watching football. Surely you're not going to prevent gays from protecting democracy and then run off to Best Buy to find a new 3D HD TV. Someone's got to sacrifice for this country. And if you want to prevent them from doing so, you have to grab a rifle and dodge the bullets yourself.
A few years ago on my radio show I interviewed two gay men who were in court fighting the government of Florida -- my home state, where gay adoption is prohibited -- to adopt a five-year-old African-American child who was mentally-handicapped. They had been picking the boy up from an orphanage every Sunday for about a year and now wanted to adopt him. One of the men said, "Nobody wants him. But we want him." I choked up. The show went to dead air. I could not speak or respond. "Nobody wants him. But we want him." Here was a child whose skin color for some was all wrong and whose intelligence did not always match up. But to these two men the boy was perfect.
I believe their love for him was also perfect, and I believe that G-d loves these men for their dedication to this child, irrespective of how we view the morality of their relationship.
I am an Orthodox Jew. Judaism and the Bible have been the center of my life for all my 44 years. But if religion has not taught me to respect all men and women who adopt an unloved orphan and be inspired by their example, then it has failed to bring out my humanity or change my heart.
That some would prefer that unwanted children remain in orphanages rather than in warm and welcoming homes is a sad commentary on the self-appointed morality police of our time.On Tuesday night, Dec. 14, Rosie O'Donnell and I will be conducting a public... more
UPDATED WITH VIDEO FROM STORY.
I really do not post my "own" story or issue but i thought you all might want to read what me and my partner are going through. This is also a open forum for debate with constructive comments no bashing. I personally think if anyone has everything done according to state law and guidelines that anyone should be able to adopt or foster a person who has been given a bad deck of cards. You see with me personal discrimination is 1 thing (i could care less) but well when it involves someone who wants to have a loving family or someone to call a family i think that these "Faith" based organizations do no justice with helping wards of the state. Its all about a ID number with them and revenue from the state.
By Mark Saxenmeyer, FOX Chicago News
Chicago - Gays and lesbians have been serving as foster parents, and legally adopting children in Illinois, for decades. But now, one Chicago couple says they've been turned away by a faith-based adoption agency, because of their sexual orientation. That agency freely admits they won't let gays adopt.
So, is it a case of blatant discrimination, or religious freedom?
FOX Chicago News recently launched an investigation into the issue that has both government and civil rights leaders scrambling to settle the law.
The story begins in the Lakeview home of Fred Steinhauer and Matt Nalett, who have lived together for seven years and got legally married in Canada.
"We've tried to really make this a comfortable, safe secure place," Steinhauer said. "We're starting to get ready for Christmas. Family really is something you have to define for yourself as life goes along."
But they never really considered having kids together, joking that they had two cats and a ferret instead. However, in the last few months, Nalett has begun working with a teenage runaway group that assists kids in the Boystown area of Lakeview. He met a 15-year-old who, in order to protect his identity, we'll call Kenny.
"He was not just a runaway, he was a missing kid," said Nalett.
Removed from his biological family because of unsuitable living conditions, Kenny has been a ward of the state for seven years, bouncing between foster and group homes. He ran away from a group home because he was being bullied by residents and he decided it was in his best interest to be on the street.
Kenny is also now coming to terms with his sexuality. He, too, is gay.
Kenny was in the care of Lutheran Child Family Services (LCFS), and Steinhauer and Nalett began the process with the agency to become foster parents. They said they passed background checks, went through a home inspection, and met with Kenny's therapist, his caseworker and state child welfare agents.
"I made it very clear, crystal clear at the beginning of the meeting, that Matt and I were a gay couple," Steinhauer said. "And never once was it mentioned that our sexual orientation was an issue."
But then, just as they were about to start child development and guidance classes required for foster parents, the orientation instructor handed them a policy statement.
"She's like, 'Um, you need to read this. I don't want to waste your time. And have a nice day,'" said Nalett.
The LCFS policy statement said the agency "will not develop or license adoptive or foster care families who identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or questioning."
"Devastated. It's like my brain just like hit the floor," Nalett said.
"I couldn't believe that anyone would be so blatant in actually handing someone a written policy of discrimination," Steinhauer said.
But was the policy statement an example of illegal discrimination?
When FOX Chicago News called LCFS for an explanation, President and CEO Gene Svebakkan told us his agency must uphold the doctrines, practices and beliefs of the Lutheran church. And the policy of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, he said, does not condone same sex adoption.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) confirmed that the Illinois Human Rights Act actually exempts religious-based adoption agencies from the anti-discrimination rules every other agency must follow.
Lutheran Child and Family Services received $19.9 million in state funding in fiscal year 2010. And, according to DCFS, two other adoption or foster care agencies--Catholic Charities, and Evangelical Child and Family--also cite religious reasons for excluding gays. Those groups received more than $23 million in state funding in fiscal year 2010. Civil rights attorney Camilla Taylor, the senior staff attorney for Lambda Legal, told FOX Chicago News that state contractors are prohibited by law from discrimination, and provided several similar state and federal court rulings that she said set a clear precedent.
"That is contrary to Illinois law but it's also a terrible wrong done to kids," Taylor said.
After our investigation started, DCFS provided FOX Chicago with this statement:
"DCFS and the Illinois child welfare system have a proud history of tolerance and inclusiveness. We have licensed tens of thousands of foster and adoptive parents without regard for sexual orientation, and we know from experience and research that sexual orientation does not affect parents' abilities to provide a safe, loving home for children. DCFS met last week with Lambda Legal, along with the Governor's Office and Attorney General's office, to begin to resolve these very complex legal issues. We all share a commitment to shape Illinois law and policy to respect the rights of all Illinoisans, and we will continue working together toward that goal."
FOX Chicago's latest calls to Lutheran Child Family Services for comment have gone unanswered. However, a new check of their website shows the policy denying gays the right to adopt has now been removed.
Steinhauer and Nalett said that legalities aside, they're more concerned with how their rejection is affecting Kenny.
"Kenny had been holding out hope that this would be a source of having a supportive family for him. And now he's thinking, 'Well, is that really going to happen? Am I simply going to be disappointed again? Because no one really cares'," Steinhauer said.
And they point out that the line of people clamoring to take in, to help, and to support a troubled gay teenage runaway is pretty much nonexistent.
Kenny is now set to be transferred to a different child welfare agency-- one that does allow gay adoption. And Steinhauer and Nalett have once again begun the application process to become his guardians.
"The real reward of dealing with the rebelliousness or the immaturity or the confusion about what he wants to do with the rest of his life comes when he says 'I think I'm now part of a family again,' when he gives you a hug," said Steinhauer.
And when he calls us 'dads'," added Nalett.
Because in their Lakeview home, they said family is important.
"You make your own family, whoever's right in your heart," said Nalett.
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Mark Saxenmeyer welcomes comments, story ideas and tips at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the First 3 Stories i posted on Current About Kenny So as you can see i have pretty much been dealing with this subject a while now.
http://current.com/items/92554955_homeless-teen-caught-in-the-system-part-3.htmUPDATED WITH VIDEO FROM STORY.
I really do not post my "own" story or... more
A Miami appeals court on Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling that found the Florida ban on adoption by gay people to be unconstitutional.
According to The Miami Herald, “The unanimous 3-0 decision deals a critical blow to Florida's 33-year-old law banning adoption by gay men and lesbians, and most likely sends the case to Florida's highest court for resolution.”
The opinion stated, “Given a total ban on adoption by homosexual persons, one might expect that this reflected a legislative judgment that homosexual persons are, as a group, unfit to be parents. No one in this case has made, or even hinted at, any such argument.
“To the contrary, the parties agree 'that gay people and heterosexuals make equally good parents.'”
The decision from the third district court of appeal in Miami will allow Frank Martin Gill, the gay father at the center of the case, to keep the two sons he and his partner adopted in 2009 after fostering the boys for several years.
Legal analysts expect the case to move to the Florida supreme court, where it will ultimately be decided.A Miami appeals court on Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling that found the Florida... more
"MEXICO CITY – Mexico City's leftist mayor said Tuesday he will take legal action if a Roman Catholic cardinal doesn't apologize for suggesting he bribed the Supreme Court to uphold a city law allowing adoptions by same-sex couples.
Mayor Marcelo Ebrard says that if Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez does not apologize by midnight, he is going to file a slander complaint.
The church opposes the Mexico City law, but the Supreme Court has ruled it constitutional.
Over the weekend, the cardinal suggested the justices may have been paid to uphold the law, using a slang word for corruption that refers to giving feed to livestock.
The court has denied and condemned the accusation.
In a statement, the Mexican Council of Bishops expressed its "solidarity and regards" for Sandoval Iniguez.
The council also stressed its continuing opposition to the adoption law and said "we regret that when these opinions are expressed, there are those who rebuke them and threaten to sound the alarm about intolerance."
"We spoke out, as part of the freedom of expression guaranteed by our democratic system, in opposition to the Supreme Court ruling, without implying any disrespect for the institutions of the Mexican government." "
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100817/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/lt_mexico_gay_adoption"MEXICO CITY – Mexico City's leftist mayor said Tuesday he will take... more
(CNN) -- David Mayer and Keith Kennard's family is a modern-day Brady Bunch, with a twist. David, 43, has three sons and a daughter. His partner, Keith, 47, has three boys of his own. Together they are two gay men raising seven children.
Their story reflects the changing face of the American family. The Williams Institute, an independent research group and UCLA think tank, estimates 20 percent (about 155,000) of same-sex couples in the U.S. are raising children younger than 18.
"It's a chaotic day keeping up with kids and doctors appointments and just their daily lives," says Keith, a nurse at an Atlanta hospital. "We don't get a lot of rest."
David, a manager for a security firm, and Keith say they've developed a regimented system for raising their children. Between getting everyone up and ready for school and shuffling around basketball practice and JROTC, their family's schedule is pretty full. By the end of the day, Keith says, "[We] get dinner on the table, homework checked and have them in bed by 10 o'clock, and the day starts all over again."
For this couple, the joys of family life outweigh the challenges. "We really couldn't ask for a better opportunity to really raise our kids together ... you don't really hear that in our gay community, especially with black men."
In the U.S., one in six gay men has fathered or adopted a child, according to the Williams Institute. David and Keith each had children before their relationship. Three of their sons and their daughter are David's biological children from a heterosexual relationship. Their other sons are children Keith adopted when he was single.
"I always knew that I wanted to be a dad ever since I was little," Keith remembers. "I really was very much interested in adoption."
For gays and lesbians, adopting children can be tricky because adoption laws vary by state. Keith started the adoption process in Georgia and says he was upfront about his sexual orientation.
"I brought it up because I wanted to make sure that there wasn't any problem," he says. "I had heard about the laws they had in Florida against [homosexual] individuals adopting children ... and I wasn't really sure what the laws were here in Georgia."
(click story link for rest of story)(CNN) -- David Mayer and Keith Kennard's family is a modern-day Brady Bunch, with... more
Florida governor Charlie Crist expressed his openness to allowing gay adoption for the second time in a week Thursday. Gay adoption is banned in the state under the harshest law of its kind in the country, currently being challenged in court.
According to theSt. Petersburg Times, Crist, an independent candidate for U.S. Senate, appeared with other statewide candidates in Sarasota at the Florida Press Association and Florida Society of Newspaper Editors convention.
Crist “said he no longer supports Florida's ban against gay couples adopting children,” the Times reported. “A better way and approach would be to let judges make that decision on a case-by-case basis.”
The comments follow a video interview with Time magazine, in which Crist said the best thing regarding the gay adoption law in Florida is to have "a live and let live attitude.”
"I guess the best decision maker would be a judge,” said Crist. “Currently we have a law on the books in Florida that precludes that from happening. I'm sure the next legislature, or maybe the next governor, might address those issues."
Crist said in the video interview that he still believed only heterosexual couples should have the right to marry.Florida governor Charlie Crist expressed his openness to allowing gay adoption for the... more
Despite the opposition of the Catholic church and conservative groups, Mexico City became the first in Latin America to legalize gay marriage, changing its definition of marriage to ""the free uniting of two people". The city already allowed gay civil unions, as do a few other places in Latin America.
A handful of cities in Argentina, Ecuador and Colombia permit gay unions.
Uruguay alone has legalised civil unions nationwide and allowed same-sex couples to adopt children.
Last month, an Argentinean court narrowly blocked what would been the continent's first gay marriage.
On Current, where the story was clipped by EthicalVegan opinion has mostly been in favor of the move by the city. User KSirys says: "Just Amazing Mexico City! Para todos los Latinos, VIVA SUR AMERICA!!"
Anybody out there from Mexico City? Can you tell us what opinion's like in the city? Leave your comment over here.
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Unlike straight parents, gay parents cannot go out one night, get drunk and adopt. Unlike straight parents, gay parents have children because they are wanted and planned for.Unlike straight parents, gay parents cannot go out one night, get drunk and adopt.... more
When a Florida judge awarded custody of a 1-year-old boy to the foster family he’d been living with, saying the boy was “happy and thriving,” the Florida Family Policy Council of Orlando didn't seem to be too happy.
It sent out an alert to its members, according to the Orlando Sentinel, about the judge’s “arrogant judicial activism” in awarding custody to the couple, who just happen to be gay.
On the left is the picture that the Policy Council used to illustrate the gay couple that was awarded custody. On the right is the actual couple.
When a Florida judge awarded custody of a 1-year-old boy to the foster family... more
3 years ago
Before we get to the topic at hand, lemme tell you about another screening I went to a last week. Not going to tell you which film that was, because I walked out in the middle — yes, it was that good — but the focus of that film was on this family that was straight out of the Twilight Zone, totally unreal. Honestly, these guys would’ve given Donna Reed the hives — the only time you usually see people this loving, nourishing, and supportive on the screen is when they’re trying lure gullible strangers down to the torture chamber in their basement. But there were no thumbscrews or branding irons for these guys; you were supposed to take them at face value. Nobody in his/her right mind could do that.
That, of course, is a worse-case scenario, but film, documentaries included, have a tendency of viewing the family as if there was some sort of ideal that could be attained through hard work and lots ‘n’ lots of love. It’s only natural — we all want to see people pulling together to solve their problems. But anyone who makes the regular pilgrimage home for holidays knows better — the interchanges within any family are seldom tidy, and the problems that arise there are rarely prone to stock solutions.
Travis and Tovah, the two Jewish lesbians who are the heads of the house in the new documentary OFF AND RUNNING, eventually find that out when they decide to adopt an African-American baby. The baby girl, Avery, grows up to be a loving daughter, a good student and a top-notch athlete. She even manages to open up a line of communication with her birth mother. Initially, this is a good thing, then not so good when the woman stops responding to Travis’s letters. As filmmaker Nicole Opper shows, that sudden silence becomes the catalyst for a drama that explores a young woman’s quest for identity and a family’s struggle to deal with issues not covered in "101 Handy Tips for Raising Your Adopted Teenager."
Opper talked with me about what happens when one’s planned exploration of joyous, adoptive parenthood takes a sudden detour into unexplored territory, and what it’s like when your teen subjects are more and more accustomed to living the public life. Click on the link to hear the interview:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-persons/emmighty-movie-podcastem_b_443252.htmlBefore we get to the topic at hand, lemme tell you about another screening I went to a... more
As gay-rights advocates and religious groups queue up in an effort to influence the outcome of a Miami appeals court case that will help decide whether gay people can adopt children in Florida, a state lawmaker has quietly introduced two bills that could render the dispute moot.
In the state of Florida it’s legal to have sex with animals--but not for gay and lesbian families to provide a home to needy children as adoptive parents.As gay-rights advocates and religious groups queue up in an effort to influence the... more
A recovering drug addict whose two children are reportedly to be adopted by a gay couple has told how she had wanted them to have a "mum and dad".
The woman, who has not been identified, was unable to look after her five-year-old boy and his four-year-old sister.
"I did not under any circumstances want my children to be placed with gay men. I wanted them to have a mum and a dad."
The grandparents of the children were considered unsuitable candidates due to age and health.
I'm all for gay adoption but surely the extended family should be higher on the list. I'd prefer to see the social services supporting the grandparents.A recovering drug addict whose two children are reportedly to be adopted by a gay... more
4 years ago
A judge in Montana granted a woman joint custody of two children she and her former lesbian partner adopted when they were a couple. Michelle Kulstad sought joint custody of her 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter after she and former partner Barbara Maniaci split up in 2006 after a 10-year relationship.
Maniaci, who is now married to a man, says she and her husband should raise the children as they see fit because Kulstad was neither an adoptive parent nor a biological relative. She was represented by an attorney from the conservative Alliance Defense Fund.
"To discriminate further against Ms. Kulstad because of her sexual preference in this day and age is no different than telling a person to go to the back of the bus because of her skin color," district judge Ed McLean wrote.
"By acknowledging Kulstad as a parent, the court today recognized that it would be both cruel and against established Montana law for her children to be denied the parental love and support Kulstad has shown them since they entered her home," Kulstad’s attorney Susan Ridgeway said in a press release.A judge in Montana granted a woman joint custody of two children she and her former... more
A strongly worded opinion from the Kentucky court of appeals has barred judges from granting same-sex partners the right to adopt children as stepparents.
The 3-0 ruling decreed that stepparent adoptions are permitted only when the second parent is legally married to the biological mother or father of the child. Since same-sex couples are not allowed to marry in Kentucky, the court of appeals said a family court judge and lawyers for a lesbian couple had ignored that law in allowing a stepparent adoption for a member of that couple in 2005.
"It is not this or any court's role to judge whether the legislature's prohibition of same-sex marriage ... is morally defensible or socially enlightened," Judge Glenn Acree of Lexington wrote, according to the Courier-Journal. "Nor is it this or any court's role ... to craft any means by which the legal consequences of such a prohibition may be negated or avoided."
A strongly worded opinion from the Kentucky court of appeals has barred judges from... more
The leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland have attacked the government over a legislation proposal advising adoption agencies not to reject applications from gay and lesbian couples.
The bishops stated: "Catholic adoption agencies are now to be indifferent as to whether a child is to be placed with a married couple of a homosexual cohabiting couple; this is gravely wrong. Policies must help encourage family stability. We highlight the importance of the human family as the building block of society. Centuries of experience and learning testify to the importance of supporting family life for the well-being of society."
They called on the government to "rethink" the forthcoming Equality Bill, which they claim imposes the "ideology" that gay people should be treated equally and impinges on religious freedom.
If anything, the strongly-worded statement from the Scottish Bishops seems to reflect their lack of political agency: despite their constant attacks on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, it passed the House of Commons with ease.
Jim Devine, Bishop of Motherwell, also attempted to interfere in the democratic process during last year's elections for the Scottish parliament by publicly withdrawing his backing from the Labour party.
In March he claimed that the "gay lobby" attends Holocaust memorials "to create for themselves the image of a group of people under persecution." The bishop said there is a "giant conspiracy" going on and claimed he is taking on the forces of secularism.The leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland have attacked the government over... more