President Bush has nominated anti-women’s rights founder of the National Fatherhood Initiative Wade Horn to be Assistant Secretary for Family Support at the Department of Health and Human Services. In this position, Horn would have authority over welfare, welfare reform, child care, child welfare, foster care, and adoption. The NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund (NOW LDEF) warns that Horn’s confirmation would threaten women’s rights, especially the rights of low-income single mothers. Horn’s National Fatherhood Initiative’s (NFI) sexist agenda would force women to marry men through economic policies as a solution to a myriad of social problems “caused” by single mother families.
Horn argues that promoting marriage should be the highest priority in welfare policy, and bases his arguments on gender stereotypes, such as his assertion that wives should “submit” to their husbands and his belief that mothers and fathers inherently parent differently. He opposes abortion and gay and lesbian parents. NOW LDEF notes that he argues for the denial of access for single parent families to important public benefits like Head Start. These limited benefits should go to heterosexual two-parent households first, leaving the “leftovers,” if any, to single parent households. He would also deny welfare benefits to two parent families if the parents are not married.