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Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly.

Gov. Kelly drafts controversial speech code for foster parents, state agencies

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and her administration are telling  foster parents to accept the self-identified gender roles preferred by children in their care and to address them by those pronouns no matter the age of the child. At the same time, Kansas is directing state agencies to recognize the preferred gender identity of youth in the program.

The new draft recommendations from the Department for Children and Families would violate a 2018 state law on adoption and foster care.

The 2008 law, signed by former Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer says DCF Families cannot block any foster or adoption agency from participating in its programs solely because it refuses to adopt or place children with LGBTQ individuals.

It’s the second time Kelly’s administration has run afoul of state lawmakers who say she is pursing illegal policies. A previous effort by a Kelly was eventually abandoned after state-wide outcry. That effort would have allowed Kanssans to remain on welfare without meeting mandatory work requirements as required by law.

As for the new LGBT speech code for foster parents and state workers, DCF spokesman Mike Deines admitted it may not be permanent as the Kelly administration tests public sentiment.

“This document was meant for discussion purposes only and will be revised after receiving feedback. … DCF will issue final guidance after all feedback has been considered,” Deines said in a statement.

The State says that children who suffer what is medically termed “gender dysphoria,” should be placed in families that don’t question the trend.

Families, says Deines, should allow children “to express themselves as they see themselves.”

Youth have the right to wear clothing and accessories that suit their gender identity, the draft guidelines say though it remains vague in how far that should go.  Not following the speech code can endanger the physical and emotional well-being of these children, they say.

The document goes on to share housing recommendations for children who question their identity saying it’s OK for a foster boy who identifies as a girl to share the room of a couple’s biological daughter. But, in a nod to legal and safety implications says, “prudent parenting should be employed” to achieve normalcy while ensuring “health and safety.”

The Family Policy Alliance of Kansas has come out against the new policy as dangerous for all involved. The organization posted a copy online because the state had failed to make it public at that point.

“Governor Kelly came into office with a clear choice — to put children or her own agenda first. Her latest under-the-radar policy makes clear that her sexualized agenda takes top priority,” the group’s director, Brittany Jones, said.

Critics of the 2008 bill, including Gov. Kelly, say the law is discriminatory though the governor has not moved to challenge it in court.

–Metro Voice and wire services