Texas House passes bill that uses religion as a weapon to harm LGBTQ familiesAround the Nation, Breaking News, Top Highlights Wednesday, May 10th, 2017
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas House of Representatives today passed House Bill 3859, a bill that would allow state-funded or private adoption agencies to cite religion as a reason for refusing adoption requests by LGBTQ couples, as well as Jewish, Muslim, single Americans, or interfaith couples, in the state of Texas. HB 3859 is one of many anti-LGBTQ bills this session that uses so-called religious exemptions as a “license to discriminate” against LGBTQ Texans.
“It’s horrific that the Texas House would allow state-funded or private adoption agencies to use religious exemptions as a weapon to ban qualified LGBTQ families from adopting a child. As a mother, it’s infuriating to see anti-LGBTQ politicians do literally anything, including harming a child’s future, to drive their discriminatory anti-LGBTQ political agendas forward,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD.
HB 3859 would enshrine discrimination into Texas law by allowing discrimination in two directions: against prospective parents, and against children in their care. It would allow state contractors who provide child welfare services to discriminate against qualified same-sex couples who want to adopt. HB 3859 would allow child-placing agencies to turn away qualified Texans seeking to care for a child in need — including 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.
“HB 3859 is yet another example of Texas legislators’ coordinated efforts to pursue discrimination against LGBTQ people instead of focusing on the best interest of all Texans,” said Marty Rouse, national field director for the Human Rights Campaign, and an adoptive and foster parent. “If signed into law, this bill would most harm the children in Texas’ child welfare system — kids who need a loving, stable home. Discrimination under law is unacceptable. The Senate must recognize this bill for what it is: an attempt to discriminate against LGBTQ Texans, this time targeting some of Texas’ most vulnerable residents: children in the child welfare system.”
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