Texas House passes bill to let adoption agencies discriminate against gay couples
The Texas House of Representatives has passed a measure to allow adoption agencies discriminate against LGBT people.
House Bill 3859, also known as the ‘Freedom to Serve Children Act’ is similar to legislation passed in other states.
It would allow state-funded adoption agencies to discriminate against couples based on religious belief.
This means that same-sex couples or transgender parents could be refused the right to adopt.
The measure was passed by the Texas House on Wednesday with 93 votes to 49.
A debate had ensued on Tuesday and went late into the night.
The bill will now go to the State Senate for a vote.
HB 3859 not only allows couples to be turned down for adoption, but also would allow anti-LGBT counselling which includes the widely condemned practice of gay ‘conversion’ therapy.
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A similar measure was proposed back in 2016.
If it passes, the bill – also known as House Bill 3859 – “would allow child welfare service providers that contract with the state to use taxpayer money to discriminate against LGBT individuals and families,” said ACLU of Texas.
The organisation’s executive director, Terri Burke, said: “It’s about as limiting a bill as we have seen,” in a statement to CNN.
Burke added that this bill becoming law would mean that if “you say you have a sincerely held religious belief and you are a private adoption agency or private entity that helps place foster children – you can say you will not place that child with gay parents”.
The Governor of Alabama last week signed into law a bill which protects anti-LGBT adoption agencies that refuse to place children with gay parents.
The Senate in the state of South Dakota earlier this year passed a bill which would legalise discrimination by adoption agencies based on religious grounds.