Hearing Tuesday on Sen. Wiener Bill Requiring All Foster Parents to Affirm LGBTQ Youth
‘We want to make sure we aren’t placing these children in homes where there is hostility towards them’
A new bill by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), would ensure that unless all potential foster parents are willing to “affirm” LGBTQ gender and sexuality in foster youth, and any gender transitioning, they will be prohibited by the state from being foster parents.
Bottom line: SB 407 would require every foster parent to agree to affirm the LGBTQ identity of their foster child if they express their gender or sexual orientation confusion.
“This bill will ensure that LGBTQ foster youth are raised in supportive and affirming environments. LGBTQ foster youth experience unique challenges – and they deserve families that embrace and empower them as they explore their identity,” Sen. Wiener said in an email Monday.
“Supportive and affirming environments:” People only use a euphemism when they don’t want to call it what it is. In this case, during the recent Senate Human Services Committee, Sen. Wiener said foster youth who identify as LGBTQ need protection from physical and psychological abuse coming from “non-affirming” foster parents – i.e. foster parents who refuse to put aside their values to “affirm” ideologies they don’t agree with, some which lead to mutilation and sterilization of children. And “gender-affirming care” is actually cross-sex hormone treatments up to a sex change for a minor child.
At the hearing, Sen. Wiener introduced his bill saying, “We want to make sure we aren’t placing these children in homes where there is hostility towards them.”
The “hostile” homes the Senator refers to are religious families.
Wiener said LGBTQ children need to be placed with foster parents who have the “necessary skills, knowledge and abilities to be parents of LGBTQ youth.”
And because these children may or may not be LGBTQ, only foster parents adhering to the strict ideology approved of by Sen. Wiener will be acceptable in order to affirm them.
Why does this sound as if Sen. Wiener is designing a state-sponsored program not just supportive of LGBTQ foster youth, but also for for cultivating LGBTQ foster youth, the Globe asked? What about the other two thirds of foster youth who ostensibly are not LGBTQ?
This is important: one third of foster youth identify as LGBTQ, and, as with all foster youth, they are at elevated risk of homelessness, violence, criminal justice involvement, and mental health issues. Supportive environments for LGBTQ youth are what avoid these outcomes, and they’re desperately needed to make sure these kids can lead successful and independent lives when they age out of the foster care system.
With a severe mental health crisis among LGBTQ youth – along with a rise in dangerous right-wing attacks on their identities – this work has never been more important.
SB 407 will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday at 9:00am.