Republicans pass amendment preventing same-sex couples from adopting

GAYSTARNEWS-

A car with an important message at San Francisco Pride | Photo: Flickr/Caitlin Childs

Republicans on Wednesday (11 July) passed an amendment to a funding bill that gives child welfare and adoption agences a ‘license to discriminate’ based on religious objections.

The House Appropriations Committee adopted the amendment in a 29-23 vote. All Democrats voted against it and all Republicans, save one (Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA)), voted for it.

The amendment is part of a funding bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.

Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) first introduced the amendment. He stated the amendment addresses ‘two serious problems currently facing our nation’.

The first, he said, is the opiod epidemic, which has caused ‘the number of children in foster care across America to skyrocket’. The second problem is that religious organizations are not being allowed to operate as child welfare agencies ‘simply because these organizations, based on religious conviction, choose not to place children with same-sex couples’.

In his own words, the amendment ‘seeks to prevent these 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’.

These convictions can also lead to discrimination against single parents (LGBTI or otherwise), divorced parents, and more.

Should the amendment remain in the final bill, and if it passes, it will allow these agencies to discriminate.

Discrimination against true child welfare

Aderholt tweeted: ‘As a Christian and a father, I am proud to have passed this amendment.’

Democrats on the Committee immediately expressed their opposition to the amendment.

Other LGBTI and civil rights groups also released statements against the amendment.

‘Any Member of Congress who supports this amendment is clearly stating that it is more important to them to discriminate than it is to find loving homes for children in need,’ said David Stacy, director of government affairs at the Human Rights Campaign.

‘Congress should be focusing on ways to help children in the child welfare system find homes rather than creating needless obstacles for prospective parents, effectively shrinking the pool of qualified folks who want to provide children with a loving home.’

Recently, Oklahoma passed a similar bill into law. This amendment makes such discrimination legal nationwide.

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