Republicans are trying to pass a bill that would stop same-sex couples adopting in Georgia
A bill that would allow adoption agencies to turn away same-sex couples has passed the Georgia Senate Judiciary Committee.
Introduced by Republican state senator William Ligon, Senate Bill 375, the Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act, would allow agencies to practice religious freedom and refuse same-sex couples.
The anti-LGBTQ bill is set to go to the Senate after it passed the committee earlier this week (February 20).
A similar bill was proposed by Ligon last year but it failed.
He insists that it will allow “more opportunities for adoption”, not less.
However, LGBTQ activists in the state have slammed the bill.
Jeff Graham, the executive director of Georgia Equality, said that there would be “no winners in SB 375”.
Critics of SB 375 fear that as well as discriminating against same-sex couples who hope to adopt, it will also put young LGBTQ people in the adoption system at risk.
Graham said: “This bill does not help the thousands of young people in our state’s adoption and foster-care system.
“It doesn’t help loving parents who are looking to open their homes to children in need.”
They added that children will be “denied permanent and loving homes” and “potential parents coldly turned away simply because of who they are”.
Georgia Equality is working with First Data, metro Atlanta and the Georgia chamber of commerce to oppose the bill.
Democratic state senator Elena Parent added that the bill would be a detriment to the state and could seriously harm the children who are in the social care system.
“There are LGBT kids who are in the system and they’re more likely to be in the system than kids who don’t identify as lesbian or gay, so I think there’s a real question about whether they could be harmed,” Parent said.
Six GOP lawmakers unveiled the ‘Marriage and Constitution Restoration Act’ bill to the South Carolina House last week.
The bill appears to be an attempt to segregate same-sex marriage from heterosexual unions in the wake of the 2015 Supreme Court decision that brought equal marriage to all 50 states.
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The proposed law seeks to define “any form of marriage that does not involve one man and one woman” as a “parody marriage”.
The lawmakers claim that “the State of South Carolina’s decision to respect, endorse, and recognize parody marriages and sexual orientation policies has excessively entangled the government with the religion of Secular Humanism, failed to accomplish its intended purpose, and created an indefensible legal weapon against nonobservers”.
South Carolina is one of the worst states in the US in terms of LGBT rights laws.
It is one of seven states that continues to prohibit teachers in publicly-funded schools from discussing LGBT issues in the classroom.
So-called ‘no promo homo’ laws are on the statute books in Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas.