Tennessee’s cornpone legislature is at it again, but this time there’s a lot more on the block than just common sense, taxpayer dollars and the likelihood that the rest of the country will once again be laughing at us. Rep. John Deberry and Sen. Paul Stanley are trying to victimize one of Tennessee’s most vulnerable populations: children who are awaiting permanent homes. They want to narrow an already limited pool of available homes for children even further by outlawing unmarried couples—heterosexual or homosexual, though it’s the latter that are really the target—from adopting.Meanwhile, 330 kids in Tennessee custody—to say nothing of many more foster children who may yet become eligible for adoption if their parents continue to fail them—are awaiting good homes, places where they can feel safe and loved. Perhaps the dynamic duo—let’s call them “Stanberry”—don’t understand how carefully adoptive homes are vetted. They have either ignored or haven’t bothered to learn that case workers fastidiously comb the financial and medical histories of potential adoptive families, that adoptive parents have to write biographical histories of their lives, that they must undergo “home studies,” in some cases attend classes and hire attorneys. They open up their entire lives, spend vast sums of money and often wait interminable periods for the chance to become parents to deserving kids.These potential nurturers are precious commodities, as are the kids with whom they want to share their lives, and are far too few in number to be picked off from the parent pool based on with whom they sleep. Stanberry, intellectual midgets that they are, are probably also unaware of the official opinion of the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association and other authorities, all of which have issued positions supportive of same-sex adoption. The APA has said that such couples “are remarkably similar to heterosexual couples, and that parenting effectiveness and the adjustment, development and psychological well-being of children is unrelated to parental sexual orientation.”Nevertheless, the proposed bill says, “The general assembly specifically finds that it is not in a child's best interest to be adopted by a person who is cohabitating in a sexual relationship that is not a legally valid and binding marriage under the constitution and laws of this state.”That’s not the position of the state Department of Children’s Services, which is charged with finding homes for kids. “Anything that’s going to make it more difficult to find homes for these children is going to be difficult for us to support,” says department spokesman Rob Johnson. “Our focus has to be on our kids, so we look at things that are going to get our kids moved to loving and stable homes.”Consider that between Jan 20, 2007, and Sept. 30, 2007, 800 children in state custody were adopted, the vast majority of them—554, to be exact—by married couples, according to DCS. Most of the others were adopted by single women and a few by single men, neither of whom, interestingly, are being targeted by this bill. (So if you live alone but sleep with someone to whom you’re not married, you can be a good parent? But if you live with someone and sleep with that someone but aren’t married, you can’t be a good parent?)One percent of the 800 kids—Stanberry, you might need some help with this one: that would be eight children—were adopted by unmarried couples. That’s eight kids who, should Stanberry have their way, wouldn’t have a permanent home and would instead be living in either group homes or rotating in and out of foster homes. And that’s eight kids who will one day be of voting age, at which point they should aim their political influence at public policy knuckleheads like Deberry and Stanley.UPDATE: It's déjà vu all over again. Gov. Phil Bredesen is refusing, just as he did in 2005, to take a position on this bill. His office tells the Scene that he won't speculate about legislation that's still making its way through the committee process. Translation: He doesn't want to risk doing the right thing and pissing off social conservatives in the process if it's still possible the bill might die in committee. Unfortunately, this isn't the first time Bredesen has been political in a morally reprehensible way.