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Texas governor approves adoption bill that critics contend discriminates

Texas governor approves adoption bill that critics contend discriminates

This law's clear intent is to allow service providers that receive state tax dollars to misuse religion as a license to discriminate against LGBT families and children in the state's child-welfare system.

And with the June 15 signing of Texas HB 3859, Texas Governor Greg Abbott effectively allowed adoption agencies and foster care groups to deny services to LGBTQ+ individuals and non-Christians based on "sincerely held" religious beliefs.

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The Supreme Court's imposed legalization of national homosexual "marriage" in the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, combined with spreading "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" nondiscrimination laws, has threatened the freedom of Catholic and religious adoption agencies to operate according to their own teachings. Critics fear the new law could be used in attempts to prevent LGBT parents from adopting or fostering children in the Lone Star State.

The new law also prohibits the state from taking adverse action against adoption agencies for providing children with a religious education, which observers have interpreted as allowing agencies to engage in widely discredited conversion therapy.

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Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO of GLAAD, criticized Abbott in a statement for signing the legislation on the basis it will block children from being placed in homes.

By signing the bill, Abbot "has codified anti-LGBTQ discrimination into law", HRC said in a release.

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"The children in the Texas child welfare system deserve the best we have to offer, yet without conscience protection, it is the children and families in crisis who suffer", stated the TCCB. This year, in fact, is shaping up to be one of the worst, in terms of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation being introduced into state legislatures around the country. He expressed some support for the bill during the legislative session, but said in his veto message that mail-in ballots are more subject to fraud than other forms of voting. "It will have devastating consequences on LGBT youth, who now can be forced into unsafe practices like conversion therapy". Child welfare services should be guided by the overarching principle that guides all family law: all determinations should be in the "best interest of the child". Other states with similar prohibitions on prospective adoptive or foster parents include Alabama, Michigan, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Virginia. The measure is not expected to become a part of the special session of the Legislature that begins July 18 in Austin. Although lawmakers advanced such a proposal during the regular session, they couldn't agree on a bill before time expired.


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