Alabama House Passes "Religious Freedom" Bill

Alabama House Passes "Religious Freedom" Bill

After a recent and disappointing move by South Dakota in enacting a "Religious Freedom" bill that allows for discrimination towards prospective adoptive families, Alabama made a move adding themselves to the growing list of states looking to enshrine discrimination into law.

On Thursday (03/16/2017) the Alabama House passed a discriminatory bill that will allow state-funded-based adoption and foster-care agencies to ban families composed of same-sex couples, LGBT individuals, single parents, and even families with different religious views. HB24 is sponsored by Republican lawmaker Rich Wingo and falsely named the "Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act," as the bill does the exact opposite of including all families and expressly allows for the "exclusion" of families of certain types. This bill even applies to those that are blood relatives seeking to adopt children "within the family." The bill unfortunately passed by a wide margin, 60 - 14; all Democrats voted against the legislation.

One openly gay Democrat, State Representative Patricia Todd,  was quoted as saying to her fellow lawmakers that the bill is "a direct attack against my community. What your vote says to me - if you vote for this bill - is that Patricia Todd is not qualified to be a fit parent," she added, "based on the fact that I love a woman, and it's not based on what is the best placement for the child," she said.

"The Human Rights Campaign reports the bill affects 'LGBTQ couples, interfaith couples, single parents, married couples in which one prospective parent has previously been divorced, or other parents to whom the agency has a religious objection. The measure would even allow agencies to refuse to place foster children with members of their own extended families -- a practice often considered to be in the best interest of the child. A qualified, loving LGBTQ grandparent, for example, could be deemed unsuitable under the proposed law.'"

"The bill now moves to Alabama's Senate. Georgia's legislature is working on a similar bill, and South Dakota, Michigan, North Dakota and Virginia have already passed similar laws."

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