Amendment Will Allow Adoption Agencies to Refuse Same-Sex Couples
WASHINGTON – 16 July, 2018
The House of Representatives Appropriations Committee approved an amendment that prohibits discrimination against a child's welfare service provider based on the provider’s religious or moral believes On Wednesday. The amendment was adopted by a vote of 29-23. If the amendment is implemented, it would allow adoption agencies to refuse gay couples based on the agencies moral or religious beliefs.
The amendment was introduced by GOP Rep. Robert Aderhold of Alabama, a member of the Committee on Appropriations and the chairman of the US House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies.
Aderhold said on Twitter that as a Christian and a father, he is proud to have passed this amendment.
As a Christian and a father, I am proud to have passed this amendment. Read my full statement here: https://t.co/IXECp6Pant— Rep. Robert Aderholt (@Robert_Aderholt) July 11, 2018
The committee has a GOP majority of 30 against 22 Dem. Minority. The amendment was adopted by 29 to 23 votes.
“Several states and localities across the country are not allowing religious organizations, such as Catholic Charities and Bethany Christian Services, to operate child welfare agencies. The reason for this is simply because these organizations, based on religious conviction, choose not to place children with same-sex couples, Rep. Aderhold said in a statement.
“The amendment I introduced seeks to prevent these governments from discriminating against child welfare providers on the basis that the provider declines to provide a service that conflicts with its sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions, and furthermore, it would require the Department of Health and Human Services to withhold 15% of federal funds for child welfare services from states and localities that discriminate against these agencies.
As co-chairman of the House Coalition on Adoption, my goal was straightforward: to encourage states to include all experienced and licensed child welfare agencies so that children are placed in caring, loving homes where they can thrive. We need more support for these families and children in crisis, not less,” he added.
Progressive Democrats in the House are speaking out against the amendment, saying it would deny same-sex couples the right to adopt, which is clearly a lie, because the amendment gives organizations the right to deny services to same-sex couples, but not make denial compulsory.
"Same-sex couples are six times more likely to foster and four times more likely to adopt. Denying kids loving parents is wrong," Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan, a gay congressman from Wisconsin, said in a tweet.
Today, I spoke against @HouseGOP’s amendment that could allow discrimination against #LGBT people seeking to adopt and foster children.— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) July 11, 2018
Same sex couples are six times more likely to foster and four times more likely to adopt. Denying kids loving parents is wrong. #LoveIsLove pic.twitter.com/PBecpXd8Bl
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that “Republicans’ moral bankruptcy reached a sickening new low today. House Republicans chose to sacrifice the well-being of little children to push a bigoted, anti-LGBTQ agenda, potentially denying tens of thousands of vulnerable children the opportunity to find a loving and safe home.
“House Democrats will fight this disgusting, deeply immoral and profoundly offensive effort with all our strength. There is no place for bigotry or discrimination in our foster and adoption systems – or in any part of our democracy.”
The amendment gives a right to organizations, which are clearly identified in the amendment body page 2 lines 18-25, to have a choice regarding whether or not to allow adoptions for the same-sex couples. No duty is imposed on child welfare service providers. That is the reason why Democrats need to lie about “anti-LGBTQ agenda”. It is clearly more about the welfare service providers’ right to deny their service due to their moral or religious believes.