Texas Senate gives final approval to bill to let adoption agencies discriminate against gay couples
The Texas Senate has given final approval to 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.
After passing in the Senate, the bill will go to Governor Greg Abbott for his signature.
LGBT groups have strongly opposed the bill.
Same-sex couples or transgender parents could be refused the right to adopt under the bill.
The measure was passed by the Texas House last week with 93 votes to 49.
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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.
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 earlier this month 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.
This week, female Democratic lawmakers in Texas protested the passage of an anti-trans bill by using the bathroom for male representatives.