Politics Adoption agencies could refuse gay couples under measure OKd by House panel

07:01  13 july  2018
07:01  13 july  2018 Source:   cnn.com

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The measure would even apply to adoption agencies that receive taxpayer funding. That has included attempts to shield private organizations from a responsibility to provide services for gay couples getting married, including efforts to allow private bakeries to refuse to make cakes for a gay

The Republican-controlled Oklahoma House of Representatives on Thursday passed an adoption bill that critics argue could discriminate against same-sex couples . The measure would also allow agencies to turn away would-be parents on the basis of their marital status or religion.

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The House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment on Wednesday that, if implemented, would allow adoption agencies to refuse gay couples based on their moral or religious beliefs.

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LGBT adoption is the adoption of children by lesbian, gay , bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. This may be in the form of a joint adoption by a same-sex couple

Proponents argued that the measure is needed to make sure adoption groups can operate without being forced to violate their religious beliefs, while critics, including the state's only openly gay lawmaker, called it blatant discrimination. The Alabama House of Representatives voted

The amendment, which was introduced by GOP Rep. Robert Aderholt of Alabama, would allow child welfare providers to decline to "provide a service that conflicts with its sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions," according to the congressman.

Because of this provision, the amendment would allow more religious organizations, such as Catholic Charities and Bethany Christian Services -- examples Aderholt provided -- to operate child welfare agencies.

"The reason for this is simply because these organizations, based on religious conviction, choose not to place children with same-sex couples," he said in a statement.

He continued: "The amendment I introduced seeks to prevent these (state) governments from discriminating against child welfare providers on the basis that the provider declines to provide a service that conflicts with its sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions," he said in a statement.

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Five other states have passed similar laws protecting faith-based adoption organizations that refuse to place children with gay parents or other households on Not only could agencies turn away hopeful parents under the religious freedom provision, but they could require children in the foster care

Kansas adoption and foster agencies could refuse placements that go against their religious beliefs — including placements with gay and lesbian couples — under bills in two legislative committees.

The amendment could have consequences for LGBTQ-friendly states. It would require the US Department of Health and Human Services to withhold 15% of the federal funds for child welfare services from states and localities don't meet the same standards for protecting religious adoption groups.

Progressive Democrats in the House are speaking out against the amendment, saying it would deny same-sex couples the right to adopt.

"Same-sex couples are six times more likely to foster and four times more likely to adopt. Denying kids loving parents is wrong," Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan, a gay congressman from Wisconsin, said in a tweet.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the amendment a "disgusting, deeply immoral and profoundly offensive effort."

"House Republicans chose to sacrifice the well-being of little children to push a bigoted, anti-LGBTQ agenda, potentially denying tens of thousands of vulnerable children the opportunity to find a loving and safe home," the California Democrat said in a statement.

The office of House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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