NGLTF Outraged by Bush Proposal to Spend $300 Million to Promote Heterosexual Marriage
- CALLED OUT INFORMATION SERVICE
From the NGLTF Communications Department
Tuesday, February 26, 2002
NGLTF Outraged by Bush Proposal to Spend $300 Million to Promote
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
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
"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,"
NGLTF Communications Department
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