There’s no scientific proof that homosexual foster parents treat children in their care worse than heterosexual foster parents. And there’s no evidence that legally recognizing a same-sex couple’s union will bring civilization crashing down.
But that hasn’t stopped the Texas Legislature from forcing “solutions” to problems that don’t exist.
Whether out of ignorance or from fear, state lawmakers seem bent on discriminating against gay individuals who want to build a life together or even help meet the demand for foster parents.
Last week, Texas’ House approved a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage. Same-sex unions, of course, are already outlawed; the Legislature accomplished that two years ago. But some lawmakers, realizing the law might not stand up to constitutional scrutiny, want to amend that document to ban gay marriage.
The measure’s sponsor, Panhandle Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, said marriage “deserves the highest level of protection.”
But how does restricting the liberty of a certain class of people “protect” marriage? Consenting adults should be free to enter into any relationship they desire, and the state should stay out of it.
One area of state interest is foster care. When the government removes a child from his natural parents and places them in a temporary home, it has a duty to make sure the foster parents won’t pose a danger to the child.
Legislators are wrong to think a foster parent’s sexual orientation poses such a threat, but earlier this month, the House approved a measure by state Rep. Robert Talton, R-Pasadena, that would ban same-sex couples from becoming foster parents.
“I don’t think it is right for young children to be exposed to this type of behavior when they are young and innocent,” Talton said during debate over the bill.
Does Talton think it would be better for these kids to remain in a home with an abusive or neglectful parent, as long as Mom or Dad isn’t homosexual?
Child Protective Services is supposed to help those too young to protect themselves. Keeping away or removing abused or abandoned children from loving, caring foster homes because of homophobia can only hurt these youngsters.
Fortunately, the Texas Senate hasn’t yet debated the foster parent issue or the gay marriage amendment. The Senate should do what Texas’ representatives were too scared to do — put a halt to these laws based on nothing more than fear and ignorance.