A California activist says new state legislation that requires
parents to undergo "gender sensitivity training" is burdensome.
Under AB 1856, now signed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D), potential
foster parents must spend 40 hours in gender sensitivity training.
An "administrator of a group home facility, licensed foster parent"
or an "extended family member caregiver" must now be trained on how
to provide care for lesbian, "gay," bisexual or transgender
Tim Thiesen, vice president
of the California Republican Assembly, says that is
not what those families aim to provide for foster children.
"Those parents by and large are heterosexual with a family
nucleus, and they're reaching out to raise children in an
environment that was intended for us to be raised in -- with one
man, one woman, marriage as defined through Scripture and our
American traditions," Thiesen states.
"This is going to create a burden -- more work, more hours, more
costs to the foster parents potentially, more costs to the taxpayer
-- and I just absolutely disagree with this."
Supporters of the bill claim LGBT youths are often discriminated
against by caregivers who do not call them by their preferred names
or do not allow them to wear clothing that expresses the gender
they choose. But the pro-family activist warns that it will do more
harm than good.
"This is just going to destroy structured environment,
structured social and family environment that these children …
definitely need," he submits.
AB 1856 was written by Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano and
supported by the homosexual rights group, Equality California.