Texas Adoption Agencies Could Ban Jews, Gays, Muslims Under House Bill

AUSTIN — Parents seeking to adopt children in Texas could soon be rejected by state-funded or private agencies with religious objections to them being Jewish, Muslim, gay, single, or interfaith couples, under a proposal in the Republican-controlled Legislature.Five other states have passed similar laws protecting faith-based adoption organizations that refuse to place children with gay parents or other households on religious grounds — but Texas' rule would extend to state-funded agencies. Only South Dakota's is similarly sweepingly.The bill is scheduled to be debated Tuesday morning in the state House.Republican sponsors of Texas' bill say it is designed to support the religious freedom of adoption agencies and foster care providers. Many of the agencies are private and faith-based but receive state funds.But opponents say it robs children of stable homes while funding discrimination with taxpayer dollars."This would allow adoption agencies to turn away qualified, loving parents who are perhaps perfect in every way because the agency has a difference in religious belief," said Catherine Oakley, senior legislative counsel for the Human Rights Campaign. "This goes against the best interest of the child."The bill also blatantly violates the Constitution, Oakley added."As a governmental entity, Texas is bound to treat people equally under the law," said Oakley. "This is a violation of equal protection under the law."  Continue reading...

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