Kansas and Oklahoma have made it legal to discriminate against same-sex couples who want to adopt
The US states of Oklahoma and Kansas have approved a “religious freedom” veto which allows adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples.
The legislation, which passed in the states on Thursday and Friday respectively, will allow adoption agencies to ban same-sex couples from adopting or fostering children in need if they feel it violates their “sincerely held” religious beliefs.
The Kansas Senate approved the bill on Friday morning, with a 24-15 majority vote.
The overwhelmingly Republican state will now send the bill to Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer, who has voiced his approval for the bill, reports The Province.
“It’s going to say, ‘Well, there goes Kansas. They’re going to do something regressive, something discriminatory,” said Kansas state Sen. David Haley, a Kansas City Democrat. “Something like this is not healthy.”
The Oklahoma House voted 56-21 for a similar legislative measure, which will allow even publicly-funded agencies to discriminate against LGBT+ couples.
“There is no homosexual agenda — I was told that, when people were saying that there was one, and now we find out, there is an agenda.
“What was once tolerated is now becoming dominant and is intolerant — totally intolerant,” said Kansas state Senator Steve Fitzgerald, a conservative Leavenworth Republican, reported The Associated Press.
It is a worrying time for social equality in Oklahoma.
The state is attempting to reduce anti-abortion legislation which means that a woman can only have an abortion if she receives her husband or father’s permission.
In February, the party said that they will declare ‘war’ on transgender people.
However, there was some vocal dissent in the ranks.
One Democratic lawmaker was nearly removed from the floor for refusing to take his seat during the vote, reports Reuters.
“What happened on the floor of the Oklahoma House and Senate today was a disgrace,” Freedom Oklahoma Executive Director Troy Stevenson said to the publication.
“Leadership of both houses forced an unneeded, unwanted, and un-American bill onto the Governor’s desk. This measure does nothing but keep Oklahoma’s most vulnerable youth out of loving and committed homes.”
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In the UK, however, there has been a recent drive to make adopting and fostering more LGBT-inclusive.
Transgender foster carer of 15 years, Rona, spearheaded one council’s fostering drive as they hoped to diversify the people who took on the role.
“It’s a good life, and there are so many young people who need and help and support,” Rona told PinkNews.
“There are so many young people who underestimate what they need and what they can do. To me, this is heaven. It’s made life worthwhile.”