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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (ChurchMilitant.com) - The governor of Alabama signed into law a religious freedom bill that lets adoption and foster care agencies refuse placing children with same-sex couples. Governor Kay Ivey's signature made Alabama the fifth state to protect the religious liberty of these agencies.
After signing the legislation into law Wednesday, Gov. Ivey explained why she did it. "I ultimately signed House Bill 24 because it ensures hundreds of children can continue to find 'forever homes' through religiously-affiliated adoption agencies. This bill is not about discrimination, but instead protects the ability of religious agencies to place vulnerable children in a permanent home."
HB 24 titled Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act was passed by the state legislature April 25. Regarding this fact, Gov. Ivey commented, "The elected legislature of this state overwhelmingly approved House Bill 24. Having served as president of the Senate for more than six years, I appreciate the work of the legislature, and I agree with it on the importance of protecting religious liberty in Alabama."
David Dinielli, deputy legal director for the leftist Southern Poverty Law Center, wasn't happy with Ivey signing the measure. "We are disappointed that one of the very first pieces of legislation Governor Kay Ivey chose to sign is a bill intended to target LGBT kids and stigmatize LGBT families," remarked Dinielli. "If the Governor had hoped to signal a new day in Alabama government, this was the wrong way to do it."
Alabama Rep. Rich Wingo, who sponsored the bill, acknowledged he proactively introduced the bill because states such as Massachusetts, Illinois, California and the District of Columbia are forcing adoption and foster agencies to place children with gay couples in violation of their faith. Adoption agencies in these states have voluntarily shut down services after those states passed so-called anti-discrimination laws. "It's about protecting and not discriminating against faith-based agencies that, due to their religious beliefs, could have their right to choose where to place a child taken away from them," said Wingo.
The Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act, HB 24, safeguards faith-based agencies — that follow their conscience in choosing adoption homes in the best interests of the adopted children — from adverse actions by the state which include:
The new law closely resembles similar legislation signed into law last month by the governor of South Dakota. South Dakota became the fourth state to afford such legal protection to adoption agencies. Michigan, North Dakota and Virginia have already granted similar religious exemptions to child-care facilities. Texas and Oklahoma are working on passing similar laws.
Faith-based agencies sincerely believe that it's a violation of their religious beliefs to expose children to same-sex parenting and thus scandalize the children into thinking such behaviour is acceptable. They also believe that science is on their side as well. Multiple studies are showing the adverse affects that same-sex parenting has on children.
A study by Dr. Paul Sullins of Catholic University of America found that children reared by same-sex parents suffered from the following problems:
Research by the New Family Structure Study, which surveyed 3,000 adults raised by same-sex couples, revealed these people suffered from the following:
At the Humanum conference in 2014, Pope Francis stated, "Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child's development and emotional maturity."