There are many things I could write about under this title, but today, I’m going to highlight a decision by a judge in Utah to remove a foster child from a home just because the couple caring for her are lesbians.
This is a perfect example of bias – one person’s perspective, based on how they see the world – and the way that bias, when coupled with power, can impact lives in a negative way.
Luckily the press is on this, and the Governor of Utah is as well. We’ll see what happens next.
But there are many cases like this that occur every day around the world that are not in the spotlight and are not addressed nor resolved.
We all have bias and unconscious bias. It is inherent in our institutions as well. Systemic discrimination is so embedded in the fabric of our societies that we no longer notice it as such; it is simply “the way things are”. Which means that it is crucial that systems are in place to educate employees on, raise awareness about, and help to mitigate bias and unconscious bias (in policies and procedures) especially in institutions that serve the public: education, health care, child welfare, and the judicial system are a few examples.
The press around this case makes me hopeful that the ruling will be overturned, and that the baby can remain with her foster parents (by the way research shows that children in same sex families are not at risk in any way, and in some cases, fare better).
But the bigger issue is that this happened in the first place. And that it’s not an isolated incident.
Copyright 2015 Annemarie Shrouder
Speaker, Author and Facilitator on issues of Diversity & Inclusion
Radio Show Host – Creating Families