Federal Bill Allowing Tax-Exempt Religious Adoption Agencies to Refuse LGBT Parents Gets Support

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins is supporting and pushing a bill that would legalize discrimination by tax-exempt faith-based adoption agencies who want to ban LGBT people and same-sex couples. The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act is currently languishing in the House and Senate but given Perkins' pull in the White House – he's directly behind Trump's military transgender ban – it could get greater attention, and even support from the president.

The bills (SB-811 and HB-1881) prevent any government agency "from discriminating or taking an adverse action against a child welfare service provider that declines to provide, facilitate, or refer for a child welfare service that conflicts with the provider's sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions." Note that the bill protects the anti-LGBT agencies – not the children or the prospective adoptive parents.

The bill also allows "aggrieved" child welfare service providers the right to sue if they are discriminated against. LGBT people and children would not have that right.

As blogger Joe.My.God. reports, Perkins is pushing the bills' passage.

"If federal lawmakers want to show they care about children and families, there's perhaps no better opportunity in the near term than by passing the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act (CWPIA)," Perkins writes. He calls it "adoptive freedom."

Falsely calling it "a win-win solution to our current foster-care dynamic," the hate group head says "CWPIA would ensure that the maximum number of adoption providers remain in the marketplace and are able to serve America's overloaded and burdened foster-care systems."

Like many on the far Christian right, Perkins suggests that laws banning discrimination against LGBT people are putting faith-based adoption agencies out of business. That's a lie. They are under no obligation to shut down just because they have to follow the rules that everyone else does. And if their "sincerely held religious beliefs" prohibit them from allowing someone they perceive as LGBTQ to adopt a child, they can stay in business by refusing to accept taxpayer funds.

"We already don't have enough help from families and providers to care for all the children in foster care," Perkins writes. "As faith-based providers face threats to their existence from those opposed to their beliefs, we must remember that forcing them out will only take away from this effort to help, and further dissuade potentially adoptive families."

Again, the only ones "forcing them out" of business are themselves.

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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