Here’s a “what-if.” What if orphans with serious medical problems–say asthma or epilepsy–were intentionally placed with foster or adoptive parents who were devout Christian Scientists or Jehovah’s Witnesses? Parents who would “pray away” attacks rather than provide medical care? What if a federal law required those doing the placements to ignore such parental beliefs on the basis of “religious freedom”? What if refusal to place a seriously ill child with a family that rejected medical science was considered “discrimination”?
I think–I certainly hope–most rational people would be appalled.
A Republican congressman has proposed a bill to prevent child welfare agencies from turning away prospective foster and adoptive parents who refuse to recognize transgender and nonbinary children’s identities.
U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) introduced the bill earlier this month in response to a proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The rule would require child welfare agencies to place LGBTQ-identifying children in homes where they will not be mistreated or abused due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Caregivers for LGBTQ children would be required to receive training on how to provide for any unique needs those youth may have because of their identity.
Banks calls the rule discriminatory. He says it’s unfair to the “loving prospective parents who do not support the idea of transgender identity or who oppose homosexuality based on their religious beliefs.”
Yes, I can just imagine how “loving” those families would be to a child already struggling with both an absence of birth parents and thorny identity issues. Why not place Jewish children with “loving” Neo-Nazi families, or Black children with “loving” racists?
What the hell is wrong with these people?
Banks has instead proposed the Sensible Adoption for Every Home Act (SAFE), which would ensure that families that are headed by parents who hold anti-LGBTQ views are not rejected as foster parents. It would enforce that by prohibiting placement agencies that refuse to place LGBTQ children with otherwise qualified couples from receiving federal funds.
Even though social transition does not necessarily involve medical interventions, Banks — like many Republicans pushing anti-transgender legislation — equates affirmation with pursuing surgical and hormonal treatments.
His bill also seeks to protect parents who oppose psychological treatments or counseling for trans-identifying children, or refuse to use gender-affirming pronouns, from being discriminated against by placement agencies.
Banks has company. Eighteen Attorneys General (all Republicans, of course) have signed a letter opposing the rule. And of course, the GOP’s rank hypocrisy is once again front and center.
As much as Republicans claim it’s unfair to discriminate against non-affirming parents, 13 states currently have laws that allow placement agencies to reject same-sex couples, single or unmarried parents, older opposite-sex couples, interfaith couples, and other prospective parents based on their purported religious beliefs.
I guess it’s okay to discriminate against people if the”sincerely held religious beliefs” of Republican lawmakers require legislating disapproval of those people.
I have previously described Jim Banks as a Christian Nationalist’s wet dream. The remainder of the linked article supports that (admittedly unkind but arguably accurate) description.
In Congress, Banks has amassed a record that is hostile to LGBTQ rights.
He previously co-introduced a bill to allow adults who experience “regret” after undergoing transition-related treatments as youth to sue their former doctors.
He introduced another bill earlier this year, in conjunction with Sen. Marco Rubio, seeking to ban transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military.
Last year, Banks submitted a discharge petition to force a vote on a bill to bar transgender women and girls from participating in female-designated sports.
Banks was also previously banned from Twitter, prior to Elon Musk’s takeover of the platform, for deliberately misgendering Adm. Rachel Levine, the country’s first transgender four-star admiral with the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and the Assistant Secretary of Health at HHS.
This is the culture warrior who wants to be Indiana’s next U.S. Senator.
I recently became aware of a PAC established by several of Banks’ current constituents; it’s called the Hoosiers for Common Sense PAC and its “primary goal is to elect a common-sense Hoosier Democrat, Marc Carmichael, and prevent Jim Banks from advancing to the US Senate.” You can contribute here.
Or you can contribute at Marc Carmichael’s website. Among his other eminently sensible positions, Carmichael wants to put an end to demonizing trans children for political advantage. It’s hard to disagree with his statement that harming innocent children in an effort to garner votes is simply beyond the pale.