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California governor vetoes transsexual foster-care bill

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (BP)–Gov. Gray Davis of California has vetoed a bill that would have affirmed the rights of transsexual foster-care youth and expanded the recruitment of transsexuals as foster parents.

Davis vetoed the measure without comment Sept. 30. His decision was a departure from the norm for the Democrat, who has signed homosexual rights and abortion rights measures in the face of opposition from pro-family and pro-life advocates.

The bill would have called for the state’s foster-care office to address complaints from “gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender foster youth” and would have required it to report some complaints to other state agencies. It would have allowed the foster-care training program to address homosexuality and other issues regarding teenage sexual health.

The measure also would have required the State Department of Social Services to expand its recruitment of “gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender foster parents” in order to match them with foster youth of the same sexual identity.

Foes of the legislation said the bill would have discriminated against foster parents with strong religious convictions. Such parents would have been forced to choose between practicing their religious beliefs or being foster parents, opponents said. Foster parents who expressed disapproval of the homosexuality, bisexuality or transsexuality of children in their care could have been reported to the state, investigated and forced to participate in “sensitivity training,” they charged.

A leading opponent of the bill called the veto a “tremendous victory for children and families.”

“It’s a horrible idea to put transsexuality and homosexuality into the minds of children, especially foster children who have already suffered abuse and neglect,” said Randy Thomasson, executive director of Campaign for California Families, in a written release. “This dangerous idea needs to go away and never come back.

The bill was “intolerant of good-hearted foster parents,” Thomasson said. “The system doesn’t have enough foster parents. We’re glad Gray Davis sensed the outrage from ordinary people and departed from his usual practice of signing every gay agenda bill that lands on his desk.”

Davis is running for reelection against Republican challenger William Simon, who had announced his opposition to the foster-care legislation.

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