MONTGOMERY, Ala. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Alabama's legislature voted to protect the right of adoption and foster care agencies to refuse placing children with same-sex couples. A signature by Gov. Kay Ivey would make Alabama the fifth state to afford such legal protection to these agencies.
On Tuesday, Alabama's House of Representatives passed HB 24 by a 87–0 vote, which would free all state-funded and licensed adoption and foster care agencies from having to place children with homosexual couples. The measure would shield such agencies from state aggression in the event they chose not to place children with LGBT couples.
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 in violation of their faith to place children with gay couples. "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.
HB 24 or the Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act would safeguard faith-based agencies — that followed their conscience in choosing adoption homes in the best interests of the adopted children — from adverse actions by the state which include:
Alabama Rep. Patricia Todd, who is a gay lobbyist for the LGBT community, believes the bill discriminates against gays. "This bill obviously came about because same-sex marriage was approved. ... we shouldn't discriminate, and I will always fight that. When a faith-based organization decides to step into either adoption or child care, they should have to follow the same rules and regulations as every other agency," said Todd. Wingo countered her by affirming that discrimination can go both ways. "The bill simply says do not discriminate against us, the faith-based agencies. It's not discriminating against anybody else," replied Wingo.
The measure allows adoption and foster care agencies to deny service to LGBT couples on the basis of religious freedom. It 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. Other states in the process of enacting such laws besides Alabama are Texas and Oklahoma.
Supporters of such laws say the preemptive measure is necessary to ensure such facilities — acting on religious convictions and in the best interests of the children adopted out — would not be forced to close their doors in the event their state follows in the path of other states in banning so-called discrimination based on sexual orientation. Adoption agencies in Massachusetts, California, Illinois and Washington D.C. have voluntarily shut down services after these states passed such laws.
Faith-based agencies sincerely believe that it's a violation of their relgious 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."