South Dakota has become the first state to officially pass anti-LGBT legislation this year
A governor in South Dakota has officially signed a bill into law making it legal for taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate against LGBT people.
It’s the first piece of anti-LGBT legislation to be signed into the law this year, but LGBT activists fear many more are yet to come.
Governor Dennis Daugaard signed SB149 which allows agencies to refuse to provide service based on religious or moral convictions.
This means LGBT youth are going to be put at risk, as well as prospective LGBT couples who are looking to adopt or foster.
Interfaith couples, single parents and married couple where one partner has previously been divorced are also targeted by the bill.
Sarah Warbelow, a legal director for the Human Rights Campaign, deemed the law a sign of the “dark new reality” for LGBT rights.
Warbelow said: “Governor Daugaard’s action not only puts the best interests of the more than a thousand vulnerable children served by South Dakota’s foster care system at risk, it signals the potential of a dark new reality for the fight for LGBTQ rights.”
They added that the bill was a “vendetta” against LGBT children and couples.
“These children could now wait longer to be placed in a safe, loving home at the whim of a state-funded adoption or foster care agency with a vendetta against LGBTQ couples, mixed-faith couples or interracial couples — all while being taxpayer-funded.”
Elizabeth A. Skarin, a Policy Director for the American Civil Liberties Union in South Dakota said the bill was “deeply disappointing.”
Skarin added: “This law directly affects the hundreds of children in South Dakota awaiting their forever families – and those children deserve better from our state leaders.”