After Nebraska lost the fight to deny equal marriage rights to same-sex couples, one Republican senator finds a new way to attack the LGBT community and their families at the expense of children.
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Even though the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that marriage equality is legal throughout the country, that hasn’t stopped states from trying to attack LGBT families. The latest comes from Nebraska, and it attacks the LGBT community at the expense of children.
Republican State Sen. Mark Kolterman of Seward, 64, recently introduced LB 975, a bill that would allow adoption agencies to refuse to place children in the homes of qualified LGBT parents, while preventing the state from taking away any agency's funding or limiting its contracts. All the agency would have to do is claim they refused a qualified couple based on the agency's "religious objection."
The anti-gay bill is cleverly named the “Welfare Services Preservation Act” as a way to disguise the fact that the bill’s sole purpose is to discriminate against LGBT families. The name insinuates that instead of discrimination, it is about protecting agencies from having to close their doors. Kolterman knows that in some states, agencies have chosen to close their doors rather than serve LGBT families, and he is twisting that around to make it sounds like agencies have been attacked.
According to the AP, Kolterman says that in some states faith-based groups have been forced to close after refusing to provide welfare services to gay parents.
"Having as many possible qualified child-placing agencies in Nebraska," Kolterman's bill states, "is a substantial benefit to the children of Nebraska who are in need of these placement services and to all of the citizens of Nebraska because the more qualified agencies taking part in this process there are, the greater the likelihood that permanent placement can be achieved for each child."
It also states:
In order to preserve the support that child-placing agencies offer children and families, the government should not take adverse action against child-placing agencies based on their sincerely held religious beliefs.
Sen. Kolterman adds that preserving public and private agencies is essential to finding homes for more than 5,600 kids under state care. However, the bill completely fails to address how refusing to place children in homes with qualified parents is in the best interest of the state or the children without homes. LB 975 would in fact increase the number of children in foster care because there would be fewer qualified homes available for children.
On his campaign website, Kolterman says, "I believe in strong families and that by supporting a strong family structure, we can alleviate many of the problems facing our society today."
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