momlogic's Vivian: Conservative Florida gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum aspires to regress our nation in a variety of ways -- among them, by supporting Florida's ban on gay adoptions. And as if that weren't bigoted enough, he also thinks gays are unfit to foster parent!The Miami Herald reports that McCollum told a Florida Baptist publication that the state law should be changed to keep gay people from fostering. He was quoted as saying, "I really do not think that we should have homosexuals guiding our children. I think that it's a lifestyle that I don't agree with. I realize a lot of people do. It's my personal faith, religious faith, that I don't believe that the people who do this should be raising our children. It's not a natural thing. You need a mother and a father. You need a man and a woman. That's what God intended."
Hear that? It's my blood boiling.
When asked about it at a campaign event, McCollum said, "It's inconsistent that the foster care law reads one way, and the adoption law reads another way." His equally lame opponent, Rick Scott, claims he's also opposed to gays as foster parents, but didn't command a ban on it.
Anyone who knows me AT ALL knows I am a staunch supporter of equality, and not just because many of the people I love most on earth so happen to be GLBT. Equal rights are what our nation is all about. So sit down and open wide, because I'm about to toss out a piece of my mind:
According to the Florida Department of Children and Family's website, there were 19,229 children in foster care as of November 2009. And a 2006 study conducted by the University of Central Florida's Center for Community Partnerships College of Health and Public Affairs concluded that Florida ranks 35 out of 50 on a scale from best to worst in terms of child well-being and basic foster care reimbursement rates. Based on the needs of a 9-year-old, the average Florida basic foster care reimbursement rate was a mere $380 per month, yet the estimated actual costs of raising a foster child in the Central Florida region runs anywhere from $739 to $890 a month.
They had this to say in the conclusion of their study: "With an average foster care placement lasting nearly two years, it is incumbent upon the State of Florida to recognize the importance of advancing the stability and quality of available foster homes. Considering the ability of foster parents to adequately provide for their foster children within their own community must remain a primary objective of the foster care system."
And did I mention that the study found the overall turnover rate in foster homes in the Central Florida region to be about 13 percent per year -- meaning that each year, some 40 to 50 foster parents drop out of the program, a good percentage of them for financial reasons?
So let's lay this out. Every child deserves a loving home. Correct? I think most would agree. Considering that past studies have shown that over 50 percent of gay couples earn more than $50K per year, is keeping homeless needy kids away from honorable, loving same-sex families with the means to provide for them part of the solution?
Um ... WTH?!
These kids (and their would-be same-sex parents) need SUPPORT in joining forces, not obstacles fueled by bigotry from a religious zealot. Dontcha think?