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With all the pissing and moaning about the Attack on the Family and the Gay Married, it's nice to see someone finally doing something to actually reinforce traditional family values. If Kansas state Sen. Forrest Knox can't force real families to conform to his utopian vision of what a family should be, well then by golly, he can certainly use the power of the state to pay extra to foster families that have a churchgoing mom and dad, one of whom stays home, and ideally they could be homeshoolers, too. You know, for the good of the kids.


Knox has introduced a bill that would create an extra-special category of foster care, to be called a "CARE family" (no idea what that's supposed to stand for), that would get extra payments if they're practically perfect in every way, only not all dykey like that Mary Poppins. Qualifying families would have to meet these stringent requirements:

  • A husband and wife team married for at least seven years, in a faithful, loving and caring relationship and with no sexual relations outside of the marriage;
  • no current use of tobacco by anyone in the family's home;
  • no alcoholic liquor or cereal malt beverages in the family's home;
  • either the husband or wife, or both, does not work outside the home; and
  • the family is involved in a social group larger than the family that meets regularly, preferably at least weekly.

We're guessing that Knox is just going to love it when strictly observant Muslims start signing up for this program.

Also, too, families would get a little extra payment payment if they home-school the kids in their care or send them to a private school. Or madrassa.

Knox reportedly "cited the 1950s sitcom 'Leave it to Beaver' as an example of the types of families that would be part of the program." Which is rather odd, since we're pretty certain that the Beav and Wally went to public school, and that one or more perfect '50s dads smoked a pipe while doling out avuncular advice. In fact, if we are to believe the Wiki, the Cleavers themselves would not qualify for Knox's program on multiple counts:

In early episodes, packs of cigarettes are detectable in [Ward's] shirt pocket. He has a meerschaum pipe ... which Beaver and Larry fill with coffee grounds and smoke. He chews gum in one episode. Ward also has a bottle of brandy in the dining room credenza that Beaver gives to an alcoholic handyman and then to a tramp.

And then there's June's notorious three-ways with Donna Reed and Lucy Ricardo, although we may be thinking of a fanfic.

In any case, the ACLU of Kansas doubts whether the bill is even constitutional, since it prioritizes a single type of family, and would require intrusive background checks on foster parents' sexual histories. And needless to say, if marriage equality is legalized by the Supreme Court, the gender requirements would be illegal.

Agencies that work with foster families aren't too crazy about it, either:

The bill's selective criteria for CARE foster parents are "not at all what we use," said Erin Teeter, director of foster care for Wichita Children's Home.

"The bill is based on the nuclear family. We have several single people, and we also have same-sex couples that are fantastic fosters," Teeter told Courthouse News.

One of Teeter's foster parents, who worked with children for 20 years, would be ruled out for the CARE program under the bill. Yet, "there is no better foster parent," Teeter said of the retired widow. "Using the nuclear family as a model is not a good criterion. I would lose some of my foster families under this bill."

But wasn't it Churchill who said that social work is far too important to be left to the social workers? Courthouse News Service notes that on his website, Knox says:

[H]e upholds "traditional American values" by "defeating the attacks on traditional marriage" and "opposing efforts to restrict your gun rights." He is one of the Legislature's strongest advocates for expanding the right to carry concealed weapons.

Knox's bill seems like a winner. Frankly, he sounds like he's already compromised a lot in not requiring foster families to be NRA members.

[Courthouse News Service]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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