A Kansas state senator is claiming "family structure" should be an element examined when foster care agencies place children.
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State Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook of Kansas is on a mission. The conservative Republican for several years has been trying to ban same-sex couples from being foster parents and on Monday she moved one significant step closer.
Last year Sen. Pilcher-Cook, chair of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, spoke out in favor of placing foster children only with different-sex parents.
“It fits with common sense, as we should be able to acknowledge that mothers and fathers interact with children in distinctly different and complementary ways,” Pilcher-Cook told the Wichita Eagle. “Each sex is different in nature and necessary for the optimal development of a child.”
Of course, that's false but Senator Pilcher-Cook has very definite views and will work hard to find support for them, no matter the source, and she laments the "political correctness" of her opponents.
“It's too bad that these children have become the subject of political correctness instead of looking at the scientific evidence.”
Yesterday, Pilcher-Cook proposed that the Senate Foster Care Adequacy Committee vote to include "family structure" as an element to consider when placing foster care children. The committee voted and now supports the proposal. The next step is unclear.
Of course, "family structure" is just another way to talk about gay versus straight parents. Same-sex parents in Kansas have been complaining they are already being discriminated against by the Department for Children and Families, but the committee chairman doesn't care.
“Let’s worry about the kids here,” Senator Forrest Knox said. “Let’s not worry about discriminating against foster parents. Let’s worry about meeting the needs of kids and pick the best homes for the kids.”
At least one member of the committee was outraged.
“I can’t not say something,” Democratic State Senator Laura Kelly said. “This just seems like a blatant attempt to discriminate against same-sex couples.”
"The underlying motive of that was to give DCF a green light to continue to discriminate against same-sex couples," Sen. Kelly added.
The Senate committee has one clear supporter, the head of the Department for Children and Families. Secretary Phyllis Gilmore in December said, "I still say that the preferred [situation] is every child to have a mom and a dad, if possible, but it's not always possible."