Texas House- No Foster Kids for GaysThe Texas House passed a childcare reform bill today that would bring sweeping changes to the state's foster care program. Sounds like a good plan and all, except that Rep. Robert Talton through in a little Ammendment that would prevent gay, bisexual, and lesbian Texans to be foster care parents.
Honestly, I haven't this mad/upset about an issue in a very long while. First of all, Talton added this little ammendment to the bill after the bill was introduced because he knew very well this type of thing would not pass on its own. In fact, the ammendment has been introduced as an independent bill several times, and it has been voted down several times. Talton managed to get good Republican support because the main part of the bill was so important. This is politics at its very worst.
A couple of key points of this bill. First, it allows the state to conduct a "reasonable investigation" to decide if a person is actually gay. What exactly is a reasonable investigation? Currently, estimates put an additional $8 million per year tab on the state to conduct such absurd investigations. I'd venture to say that this money would be coming out of the operating expenses of other investigations to determine whether or not foster parents are actually doing a good job.
Second, this bill would remove foster kids in current homes from any home where there is a gay person. We are talking about current kids here, taken away from stable, happy homes just because someone there is gay. Estimates here say 1,200 kids would be left without homes as a result of this. This from a state that already has a big problem finding enough foster parents for kids.
Last, the bill would include all foster homes, even those where there is a familial relationship, no matter how close. This means if something happened to my parents, my 9 year old sister would have to go with strangers, rather than staying with a brother that loves her and wants nothing but the best for her. For people that claim to be pro-family, this really looks more like ripping families apart to me.
Make no mistake, this is about rights. The anti gay-marriage crowd has been claiming all along that a vote against gay marriage wouldn't affect the rights of gay people, but this bill very much does. Under this bill, gays would lose the right to be foster parents, and I don't think it is too much of a jump to assume adoption may be next. Heck, why don't we have CPS take kids away from all gays. I mean, if they can't be good enough to be foster parents, they certainly aren't good enough to raise kids at all.
My Rep, Martha Wong, thankfully broke party lines to vote against this bill. Thank you Martha. Hears hoping the Senate dumps this trash of an ammendment when they vote on the final bill.
More on how the votes fell and more discussion at PinkDome. There are lots of others out there up in arms about this.
What a terrible political ploy. If this is so important and what the state wants, why tack it on to another bill? I hope the Senate comes to their senses on this one. I'll be doing whatever I can to get this tossed out. Man I am mad.