Alabama anti-LGBT adoption protection approved
April 26, 2017 1 comment
Lawmakers in Alabama have approved a bill to protect adoption agencies which refuse to place children with LGBT couples.
Under this legislation, the southern state could not refuse to grant licences to any organisations which object to the idea of gay, lesbian and transgender parents on religious grounds. Supporters of the bill claim it was designed so that faith-based agencies can still operate without violating their religious beliefs, but critics have labelled the measure discriminatory.
Republican State Representative Rich Wingo was the sponsor of the bill. He said it was written to make sure “faith-based child placing agencies aren’t discriminated against” and insisted that the law would “not [be] discriminating against anyone”.
However, Democratic State Representative Patricia Todd disagreed with Wingo. She said that Alabama had “too many kids in foster care who need adoption, many of them with special needs” and that gay parents “want to adopt and take care of those children”. Todd is the only openly gay member of the Alabama state legislature.
The measure, called HB24 in the legislature, has also been opposed by civil rights advocacy group the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) which labelled it “prejudice cloaked in religion”. SPLC deputy legal director David Dinielli said the legislation “limits the number of homes available to Alabama’s most vulnerable kids”.
The bill has now been approved by both houses of the state legislature and will become state law if Republican Governor Kay Ivey signs it. However it is currently unclear whether or not she will do so.
Similar laws have already been passed in Michigan, Virginia, South Dakota and North Dakota, the Associated Press reports.
In 2015, academics from the Universities of Oregon and Colorado found that gay people were just as capable at raising children as straight people. In an analysis of around 19,000 studies on the subject, the researchers could not find any overall differences in how children of gay parents turned out when compared to peers raised by straight parents.
Photo of the Alabama State House by Jay Williams via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.
April 26, 2017
Categories: Fostering & Adoption