What’s offensive? That she’s a lesbian?
Democratic Rep. Jeanette Mott Oxford was nominated by her party last month to serve on the Special Standing Committee on Children and Families in the Missouri House. But the Republican house speaker, Ron Richard, ignored the party’s request and chose another Democrat.
But Rep. Mike Corcoran, who got the nod, says he expressed an interest in the seat only after being told Oxford was out of the running. He thought she made a good pick. Which leads Oxford back to her big question.
Is the head of the Republicans in the Missouri house saying a lesbian can’t help on a committee that serves children and families? Ironic, considering one of only two openly gay lawmakers in the house, Oxford HAS served on committees relating to kids and families since she was elected in 2004. Before that, she served as executive director of ROWEL, a St. Louis organization that advocates for the poor with a focus on changes to the welfare system. One of its biggest claims to fame in Missouri? ROWEL advocated for increases in cash grants for Aid to Families
with Dependent Children.
The House minority leader – who put forth Oxford’s name for the appointment – is also confused; Richard accepted other party suggestions – and he hasn’t given her a clear answer either.
It all sounds fishy to me, especially when you look at the list of bills sponsored by Oxford in her time in the House – everything from establishing lower class sizes in St. Louis city and county schools to expanding the amount of kosher foods available under the state’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.
Sounds like this is a lady who knows kids and families. Funny thing a lot of homophobic house speakers haven’t realized – lesbians are parts of families too. And once upon a time, they were kids. Which makes them just as qualified for a post on a committee that deals with kids and families as anyone else – especially when they have a long history of advocating for . . . kids and families.