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NGLTF Outraged by Bush Proposal to Spend $300 Million to Promote Heterosexual Marriage

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    CALLED OUT INFORMATION SERVICE From the NGLTF Communications Department Tuesday, February 26, 2002 NGLTF Outraged by Bush Proposal to Spend $300 Million to
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 27, 2002
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      CALLED OUT INFORMATION SERVICE

      From the NGLTF Communications Department

      Tuesday, February 26, 2002
      NGLTF Outraged by Bush Proposal to Spend $300 Million to Promote
      Heterosexual Marriage

      The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) attacked elements of
      the Bush Administration welfare proposal that call for significant
      federal and state funding of programs to promote and foster
      heterosexual marriage.

      Released today, Bush�s plan will call for "encouraging healthy
      marriages and two-parent married families as a goal." This includes
      the expenditure of $300 million for projects devoted to promoting
      heterosexual marriage, of which $100 million will subsidize state and
      local experimental projects for pre-marital counseling and education
      as well as research to foster sound marriages. Already several states
      offer cash bonuses to welfare recipients who marry.

      "Lesbian mothers on welfare cannot marry," said Sean Cahill, Ph.D.,
      Director of NGLTF's Policy Institute and co-author of "Leaving Our
      Children Behind," a report on the effects of welfare reform on gay,
      lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) people. "The safety net
      should support all families in need, not only those which pass a
      conservative litmus test. Bush's proposal privileges particular kinds
      of families while penalizing and stigmatizing others."

      "The proposal released today is based on political motivations, not
      social science research," Cahill noted. "Mandatory marriage is not
      the answer to poverty."

      The NGLTF report showed that key elements of the welfare reform plan
      threaten not only low-income gay people, but also all members of the
      GLBT community, regardless of income. The primary areas of concern
      are fatherhood and marriage initiatives, abstinence-only education,
      and the faith-based initiative. The 1996 welfare reform law requires
      lesbian and bisexual mothers to identify their child's biological
      father in order to receive benefits, and mandates abstinence-only
      education that spreads misinformation and stereotypes about
      homosexuality and GLBT youth.

      Several Bush appointees have promoted ideas that would devastate
      millions of GLBT and single parent-headed families. These proposals
      include effectively denying benefits like Head Start slots and
      student loans to children of unmarried parents, and requiring mutual
      consent for divorce. Wade Horn and Andrew Bush, two of Bush's top
      welfare and family policy architects, endorsed a proposed ban on gay
      adoption and a ban on two-parent welfare benefits to unmarried
      couples. Horn called 'the notion that all family structures are...all
      equally good for children" the "enemy" of those concerned about child
      welfare.

      "All of us committed to economic justice should pay close attention
      to the reauthorization of welfare reform this year, and in particular
      to the Bush Administration�s fatherhood and marriage initiatives,"
      cautioned Lorri L. Jean, Executive Director of NGLTF. "Marriage and
      fatherhood initiatives threaten millions of single-parent and
      unmarried two-parent families with children. They are a monumental
      waste of money that could be put to much better use to lift people
      out of poverty."

      To download NGLTF report "Leaving Our Children Behind,"
      visit http://www.ngltf.org/library.

      MEDIA CONTACT:
      NGLTF Communications Department
      ngltf@...
      202-332-6483
      Pager: 800-757-6476




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