Texas House Passes Bill Protecting Religious Adoption Agencies That Deny Services, Turn Away Prospective Parents

AUSTIN — The Texas House late Tuesday night approved a bill that would provide legal cover to adoption and foster care agencies that turn away prospective parents or refuse certain services based on their religious beliefs.Democrats and groups advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights said it amounted to state-sanctioned discrimination, while Republicans heralded the bill’s passage as a step forward in addressing the state’s foster care crisis.“This is a defensive bill. It allows everyone to participate,” bill author James Frank, R-Wichita Falls, said. “It requires (Child Protective Services) to maintain a diverse network of homes and provides reasonable accommodations to those who are helping solve our foster care capacity crisis.”After more than three hours of debate, the bill passed by a vote of 94-51 along largely partisan lines just before 11:00 p.m. Two Republicans, Jason Villalba of Dallas and Sarah Davis of Houston, voted against it. It will need to get one more vote of approval before being sent to the Senate for further debate.   Continue reading...

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