We recently reported about a "Religious Freedom" bill currently moving through the state of South Dakota. Now another one has popped up in Alabama. This new bill, named the "Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act," was first introduced two years ago but it didn't gain any traction. There seems to be a renewed effort in passing this so called "Religious Freedom" bills once again as many believe it is because these lawmakers are anticipating support from the Trump administration.
While the psychiatric community has publicly stated that they have found absolutely no evidence that having same-sex parents have any harmful affect on children, these bills are brought forward allowing adoption agencies that accept public funding to "hold true to their faith" and deny same-sex couples if they believe they should not be parents.
"This bill has been fast-tracked through the House of Representatives with support from both Senate and House Republican leadership," says Eva Kendrick, the Alabama state manager for the Human Rights Campaign, an LGTBQ rights group.
In Jeff Sessions, the Trump administration has chosen someone who is very likely to be an ally to these state bills that enshrine legal discrimination. "Back when Attorney General Sessions was a U.S. congressman, he referred to separation of church and state as something that was 'recent,' 'unhistorical' and 'unconstitutional.'"
"Sarah Warbelow, the legal director for the HRC, fears that the choice of Sessions as attorney general is a signal to local lawmakers."
"In addition to the bill in Alabama, she says there are similar ones based on religious freedom that are moving more quickly in Texas, South Dakota and Oklahoma."
Even though same-sex marriage and adoption are now legal across the United States, many same-sex couples are finding continued difficulty. Many adoption agencies, non-faith and faith-based alike, have been found to refuse to even call back same-sex couples that are looking to adopt. Regardless that by law same-sex couples are to be treated equally, many are finding that they are still having to "jump-through-hoops" to obtain equal treatment.
While many of these agencies do not explicitly turn down same-sex couples because they are LGBTQ, the inference can be made, especially when most of these agencies refuse to update their paperwork and still ask for a Mother and Father.
"Advocates for the LGBTQ community fear that [the "religious freedom"] reasoning will soon make it harder for their community to adopt."