A Texas bill that would allow adoption agencies to reject applications from gay people due to “sincerely held religious beliefs” has been signed into law by the state’s governor.
The bill, first proposed last month, allows both private and state-controlled adoption services to discriminate against prospective parents because of their sexuality, as well as denying service to Jewish people, Muslims, single people, and interfaith couples.
The Texas Tribune also notes that the new law allows faith-based adoption organisations “place a child in a religious school; deny referrals for certain contraceptives, drugs or devices; and refuse to contract with other organizations that don’t share their religious beliefs.”
Shockingly, the law could open the door for organisations to force their religious beliefs upon children in the foster system, including sending LGBT+ children for ‘conversion therapy’ against their will.
Jennifer Allmon, executive director of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, welcomed the legislation, saying it will allow religious agencies “to serve the children of Texas while maintaining our faith teachings.”
The open discrimination against LGBT+ parents and children has been strongly criticised by LGBT+ groups. Sarah Kate Ellis, president of GLAAD, said in a statement: “This law was never about the best interests of Texans or of children, but about forwarding a political agenda to codify the permission to discriminate against LGBTQ Texans into state law.
“Discrimination has won in Texas, and it saddens me that a child can now be denied the chance to live with a deserving family simply because they are LGBTQ.”
State Representative James Frank, a Republican who authored the bill, defended the legislation. “My guess is if you have an LGBT agency they’re going to pick an LGBT family, and if you have a Baptist agency they may be more likely to pick a Baptist family,” Frank said. “They’re free to do that and should be free to do that.”