A Kansas Republican is once again attacking the LGBT community and the right of same-sex couples to be foster parents.
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Kansas Republican state Senator Forrest Knox for years has been trying to exclude same-sex families from the state foster care program. Earlier this year, in an obvious attempt to exclude same-sex parents from caring for foster children, Sen. Knox tried to pass legislation creating a special class of foster care parents who would receive substantially higher compensation than other parents.
To qualify for his CARE Program, parents would have to attend church regularly, not smoke or drink, and be legally married to a person of the opposite sex for at least seven years. Additionally, only one parent could work outside the home. That program would have cost the state about $26 million, and likely another $25 million in federal funding, not to mention tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, given that it's probably unconstitutional.
Now, Sen. Knox is bashing same-sex families again, just in time for the Holiday season.
“Not long ago it was not at all controversial that the traditional, ‘nuclear’ family – comprised of a father and a mother in a lifelong, loving marriage – raising children – was considered to be the best way to meet the needs of children,” Rep. Knox wrote in an email to constituents on Wednesday.
“Today this view is no longer politically correct and is actually received by many with anger…My concern is the children. If the state has custody of children, should we not do the best we can at meeting their needs? There is no ‘right’ of certain people or classes of people to be licensed foster parents.”
Knox himself is the father of nine children and a licensed foster parent.
The Wichita Eagle reports that Sen. Knox "chairs a special committee on foster care that reviewed research about the fitness of same-sex parents last month. The research, from Catholic priest and sociologist Donald Paul Sullins, has been disputed by the American Psychological Association and other scientific organizations. The testimony was widely reported and drew some criticism."
Despite a growing mountain of both anecdotal evidence and scientific research proving same-sex parents do at least as good a job as different-sex parents in raising children, Sen. Knox chose to base his opinions on the debunked research of a Catholic priest, an organization that likely has the worst reputation when it comes to the safety of children all around the world.
The research, from Catholic priest and sociologist Donald Paul Sullins, has been disputed by the American Psychological Association and other scientific organizations. The testimony was widely reported and drew some criticism.
Knox told the Eagle, "personally I believe the facts show that the traditional nuclear family best meets the needs of kids."
On Facebook, Knox detailed the other studies that formed his opinion, including the thoroughly debunked research of Mark Regnerus. Knox is also under the false impression that federal research referring to two-parent or "nuclear" families does not include same-sex families. It does.
Despite the Senator's claim that his concerns are only about the welfare of children, many votes Knox has cast show he cares little about children – or makes bad decisions for them – especially those in poor families.
Knox voted to limit welfare benefits to needy families, voted several times to attack union wages and deductions, voted to prohibit Medicaid expansion, voted to reduce unemployment benefits, and voted against eliminating the sales tax on food – all directly negatively affecting poor families.
He also sponsored a bill allowing Kansas residents to carry concealed firearms without a license, and voted to prohibit the enforcement of federal firearm regulations – making life far more dangerous for families with children, as studies prove families with a gun in the home are far more likely to suffer gun violence.
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