Strong Reaction Follows Proposed Gay Foster Parents Bill - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

04/22/05 - Texas

Strong Reaction Follows Proposed Gay Foster Parents Bill

by Chris Cato

Rep. Robert Talton of Pasadena said, "we do not believe that homosexuals or bisexuals should be raising our children."

The bill proposed by Representative Talton would make it mandatory for anyone now a foster parent, or applying to become one, to disclose their sexual orientation.

If the person says they are gay or bisexual, they will not be allowed to become a foster parent. If they are already caring for children, those children would be taken away.

It's a bill that hits close to home for Debbie Hazell. She is a foster parent caring for 5 foster children. She agrees with the plan to ban homosexuals, saying the children already often come from disfunctional homes, and shouldn't be placed in another.

Hazell said, "a homosexual home would be immoral and disfunctional. It would be wrong to put them in another situation."

Many members of the gay community disagree saying there's nothing disfunctional about it. They say the foster families this bill would affect are just as caring and as nurturing as heterosexual foster parents.

Carrie French, a member of the equal rights group Pride SFA said, "I would love to foster/adopt kids. I love children. I would like to think that if they're waded up in love and care, and they're sheltered and they're clothed, cleaned and neat when they go to school, then they should have as much rights to have kids as the straight people out there."

The Lesbian and Gay Lobby of Texas estimates between 2,000 and 2,500 children would be displaced by this. Considering the low number of foster parents, that could turn into a problem.

Hazell says that just means more people should volunteer as foster parents.

Hazell said, "if they knew the needs, you know the needs need to be made known, then maybe we would get more volunteers."

The bill still has to pass the senate. But with the overwhelming support it received in the Texas House, opponents of the bill say they're losing hope.

Arkansas placed a similar ban on gays becoming foster parents, but a judge ruled the law unconstitutional in December.

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