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The Student News Site of Frederick High School

Frederick Lantern

The Student News Site of Frederick High School

Frederick Lantern

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Colorado Legislators Push Foster Child Freedoms

The proposed Foster Bill of Rights will give foster children a better life and protections from harm in the state
Olivia Sun
A huge and lasting problem about foster care has cam to surface finally. Colorado had hope to help out foster kids.

In recent news Colorado lawmakers are in conflict over the ‘Bill of Rights’ which guarantees gender pronouns as well as freedom from religious activities for foster youth. Monday January 29th republicans and democrats clashed over legislation that creates a ‘bill of rights’ for youth that’s in foster care. Specifically the proposal seeks to guarantee the ability to refuse religioso activities which ensures the right to express their gender identity. 

This formalized list would ensure every foster child five and older to recibe their right place in care. The ColoradoSun said, “It’s about 12 lines in the 15-page legislation that have caused hours of debate in a committee hearing and on the House floor.”

Here’s what they say: 

  • Foster children and teens will have the right to freedom from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
  • They will have the right to “be referred to by” their preferred name and pronouns. 
  • They will have the right to attend, or refuse to attend, religious services and activities.

Despite being outnumbered 9–4, the four Republicans on the House Health and Human Services Committee decided not to support the bill because of their remarks. The bill is still pending a vote in the House, where GOP lawmakers warned that if the bill of rights was carried as written, Colorado would lose hundreds of Christian foster parents. The debate lasted for hours. 

“About 30% of foster youth in Colorado identify as LGBTQ. An estimated 50% or more of foster homes are religious.”

The legislation also goes into gender identity issues. This saying that foster youth have the right to freedom of discrimination or harassment. It would give foster children the right to be referred to by their preferred name and pronouns.

“It says that if I’m a foster parent, I have to affirm any LGBT mentalities,” said Rep. Scott Bottoms, R- Colorado Springs. “That is not OK, and that is exactly what this bill does and says. It takes away religious freedom, it takes away parental rights, it takes away Christian rights, and it takes away the ability of a foster parent to actually try to bring structure to these children’s homes.”

A bill amendment was put forth by the Republican caucus that would have eliminated any references to HIV status, gender identity, sexual orientation, and military status. They claimed that since youth in the foster care system are too young to enlist in the military, the clause about military service is superfluous.

After several hours the amendment failed and the bill which advanced along party lines advanced to its third reading. 

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About the Contributor
Kaya Paluda, Editor in Chief

Kaya is a senior at Frederick High. She has been on the Lantern staff for all four years of high school and is an active member of Quill and Scroll. Kaya also is in the FHS Biomedical Foundations program. When not writing for the newspaper, Kaya plays on the soccer team for Frederick. Kaya spends the majority of her time working and playing soccer, but when there's room for free time, she enjoys hanging out with her family and friends, spending time outdoors, watching movies and TV shows, and sleeping. After graduation, Kaya plans to go to a four-year college to study sports medicine.

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