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Oklahoma officially makes it legal for adoption agencies to ban LGBTI couples

Written by gaytourism

Same-sex couples could now have more difficulty adopting | Photo: Unsplash/
Janko Ferlič

Oklahoma officially passed into law a bill that allows adoption and foster agencies to discriminate against LGBTI couples.

Governor Mary Fallin signed Senate Bill 1140 into law on Friday (11 May).

The bill allows adoption and foster agencies to deny placements that violate the agencies’ ‘written religious or moral convictions or policies’.

It does not explicitly ban LGBTI couples from adopting. However, it does give agencies the right to deny them based on the agencies’ beliefs.

The state’s legislature first passed the bill at the end of April.

‘The state will not be in any way restricting current practice allowing LGBTQ individuals and couples fostering or adopting,’ Fallin said.

‘SB 1140 allows faith-based agencies that contract with Oklahoma to continue to operate in accordance with their beliefs.

‘In a day and time when diversity is becoming a core value to society because it will lead to more options, we should recognize its value for serving Oklahoma also because it leads to more options for loving homes to serve Oklahoma children.’

Groups criticize the passing of the bill

Several LGBTI groups in Oklahoma condemn the law, while others are threatning court action.

Allie Shinn, External Affairs Director of ACLU of Oklahoma said they were ‘disappointed, though frankly unsurprised’.

She continued: ‘Rather than stand up to religious fanaticism, the Governor has chosen to reinforce the delusions of those who confuse discrimination with liberty.

‘Make no mistake,’ added Troy Stevenson, Executive Director, Freedom Oklahoma. ‘We will fight for the most vulnerable Oklahomans targeted by this law. And, if necessary, we will do so in a court of law.’

Finally, Oklahomans for Equality filmed their reactions to the bill, stating their disappointment.

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