Anti-Gay Kentucky Republican Should Do His Job and Protect Kentucky's Children From Homelessness, Poverty, and Food Insecurity
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Kentucky State Rep. Joseph Fischer of Campbell County has filed a 454-page bill that effectively bans same-sex couples from entering the state of "matrimony." HB 572, the "Matrimonial Freedom Act," would still allow same-sex couples to legally marry, but would create an entirely new legal concept, "matrimony." Fischer's bill says matrimony "refers only to the civil status, condition, or relation of one male human being ('husband') and one female human being ('wife') united in law for life, for the discharge to each other and the community of the duties legally incumbent upon those whose association is founded on the distinction of sex."
In other words, legal, civil marriage, that bans same-sex couples.
Zack Ford at ThinkProgress first reported on Fischer's bill, and notes its "epic" length is due to Fischer literally rewriting all Kentucky "statutes that define the basic parameters of marriage," noting that "duplicate language is added defining 'matrimony' by the exact same parameters."
Ford adds that "anywhere that the law outlines a privilege, benefit, or responsibility previously made available to marriage, the word 'marriage' is replaced by the word 'matrimony.'"
If you're wondering how it is that a state lawmaker has the time and resources to devote to such an incredibly obviously unconstitutional pet project, and if those resources might be better devoted to real, actual issues, so were we.
It turns out, the Commonwealth of Kentucky the "highest rate of student homelessness in the nation." More than 30,000 children don't have a home, according to an August, 2015 report in the Kentucky Herald-Leader.
In Campbell County, which Rep. Fischer has represented since 1998, the Herald Leader's map shows 446 homeless children.
Poverty, of course, is one of many causes of child homelessness.
"Kentucky ranks 4th highest in the nation for poverty," Feeding America reports. It also reports that "Kentucky ranks 28th in child food insecurity with a rate of 22.4%." Food insecurity is not having enough food, enough nutritious food, and not having reliable access to food – in other words, not knowing where your next meal may be coming from.
In 2014, the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy reported Kentucky ranks 43rd in the nation of adults who are at or below basic literacy levels, including "more than 374,000 adults age 18-64 without a high school credential," and "54 percent of the state’s adults have either just basic or below basic literacy levels."
Surely Rep. Fischer's time could be better spent?
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