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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Texas bill would ban Gay Foster Parents

Fort Worth Star Telegram:

Eva Thibaudeau and her partner, Christina Rodriguez, have been foster parents to nearly 80 children since they were licensed eight years ago. They've adopted four of them. But they would have to stop taking in kids under legislation passed by the House on Wednesday that could make Texas the only state to bar gays from becoming foster parents. 'I'm just so hurt and surprised, especially now (when) we are facing an ongoing crisis of not having enough resources to take care of foster children,' said Thibaudeau, a social worker who lives in Houston. She and Rodriguez brought their four children to the Capitol on Wednesday to speak out against the provision. The measure proposed by Rep. Robert Talton, R-Pasadena, calls for applicants to be a foster parent or a foster parent whose performance is being evaluated to list whether they are homosexual or bisexual. If they are, they would lose eligibility; children would be removed from the homes of current foster parents who answer affirmatively. Talton wouldn't comment Wednesday, but during debate on the bill the day before he said, 'I don't think it is right for young children to be exposed to this type of behavior when they are young and innocent.' The provision is an amendment that Talton added to a bill overhauling the state's Child Protective Services. The House gave the CPS bill final approval Wednesday on a 135-6 vote.
I am willing to conced that it is probably best for kids to have a father and a mother. However, best isn't the issue here. The issue is worst. There are never enough Foster parents for all the kids who need then, and of those availible many are sub-optimal to say the least. Decent gay foster parents are better than no foster parents at all and a heck of a lot better than abusive straight foster parents. This bill has absolutely nothing to do with the welfare of children, it is only about finding ways to further stigmatize gays. Usually I find claims of homophobia to be be overblown and in general I disapprove of many of the tactics of gay activists. In this case though, it seems clear that the homophobia and religious pandering are the main items on the agenda. Disgusting. Kids in the foster care system have enough challenges and a tough enough situation to deal with. They don't need to be the marker in a game of show-how-religious-you-are.


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