Kansas senator says media prioritizes gay rights over foster care needs

Forrest Knox

Forrest Knox

Forrest Knox

Forrest Knox

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A south-central Kansas lawmaker has sent an email to constituents criticizing media coverage of the rights of gay couples in the state’s foster care system.

Republican Sen. Forrest Knox from Altoona said in the email sent this week that the media prioritizes gay rights over the needs of foster children.

Knox chairs a special committee on foster care that last month reviewed research by Catholic priest and sociologist Donald Paul Sullins on the fitness of same-sex couples to foster. Sullins’ research has been disputed by scientific organizations, including the American Psychological Association.

Knox told the Wichita Eagle that he believes the research shows that traditional nuclear families best meet foster childrens’ needs.

“Today this view is no longer politically correct and is actually received by many with anger.My concern is the children. If the state has custody of children, should we not do the best we can at meeting their needs? There is no ‘right’ of certain people or classes of people to be licensed foster parents,” Knox said.

The Kansas Department of Children and Families has repeatedly said it does not discriminate against same-sex couples.

Republican Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, the chair of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, said in an e-mail the traditional nuclear families are best for foster children.

“It fits with common sense, as we should be able to acknowledge that mothers and fathers interact with children in distinctly different and complementary ways,” Pilcher-Cook said. “Each sex is different in nature and necessary for the optimal development of a child.”

Democratic Rep. Jim Ward, who says the claims that Knox has made have been disputed. Ward is seeking an audit to determine whether Kansas is discriminating against same-sex couples.

“My argument to Forrest and Mary is they’re still trying to argue the world is flat and the rest of us have moved on,” Ward said.

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