Current Affairs

US Congress blocks anti-gay adoption plan

Nick Duffy September 27, 2018
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A Republican lawmaker’s bid to introduce laws allowing adoption agencies to reject same-sex parents has been defeated in the US House of Representatives.

Alabama Congressman Robert Aderholt, a strong opponent of LGBT+ rights, attempted to attach a discriminatory amendment to a must-pass funding bill.

The amendment sought to grant a “license to discriminate” in the provision of child welfare services—which would allow adoption agencies to turn away prospective same-sex parents, based on the agency’s religious beliefs.

The U.S. Capitol (Stefan Zaklin/Getty)

As Republicans hold a majority in both the House and the Senate, LGBT+ activists feared that the amendment would pass if allowed to go forward as part of the bill and put to a vote.

The US House Appropriations Committee approved the amendment by a 29-23 vote in July, broadly along party line—but LGBT activists this week won a last-minute reprieve as the bill headed for a final vote.

On Wednesday, the House agreed a conference report that favours the Senate’s clean version of the bill, omitting the amendment.

LGBT activists celebrated the news.

Human Rights Campaign’s Government Affairs Director David Stacy said in a statement: “Fortunately, Congress has rejected this harmful effort to discriminate against LGBTQ people while disregarding what is in the best interests of children.

“Congress should be focusing on ways to help children in the child welfare system find homes rather than creating needless obstacles for prospective parents, effectively shrinking the pool of qualified folks who want to provide children with a loving home.”

The U.S. House of Representatives chamber (Brendan Hoffman/Getty)

Denise Brogan-Kator of the Family Equality Council added: “Over 300 child welfare, civil rights and faith organizations under the umbrella of the Every Child Deserves a Family Campaign successfully mobilized to press Congress to say no to depriving foster children of loving homes and needed services.

“The Aderholt amendment had broken the cardinal rule of child welfare — that the needs of children should come first.”

US Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, the ranking Democrat on the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, said: “I was proud to fight to ensure that the Aderholt amendment—which would have inserted bigotry and discrimination into our foster care and adoption systems—was removed from this year’s Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education funding bill.

“Children deserve to live in safe, happy, and healthy permanent homes, and their best interests should always be placed first. No qualified adoptive and foster care parent should be discriminated against, period.”

More: adoption, amendment, Congress, Gay, LGBT, plan, US

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