George GOP lawmakers made a sneak attack on LGBT people on Thursday, adding a discriminatory provision to an adoption bill pending in the state legislature.
“In a shameful act of political maneuvering, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee just tainted a good adoption bill by adding a blatantly discriminatory amendment that seeks to allow adoption agencies — even ones that receive public funding — to discriminate against same-sex couples and refuse to work with prospective LGBT parents,” Jeff Graham said in a statement from the organization Georgia Unites.
Graham urged concerned constituents to call the Governor’s office about the proposed amendments to HB 159. The new amendment language, introduced by Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick, above), was not immediately available.
“HB 159 as amended is despicable on so many levels,” Graham said in the statement. “Taxpayer dollars should never, under any circumstances, be used to fund discrimination. Limiting the pool of prospective parents for children in dire need of forever families puts orphans and foster youth in harm’s way. Same-sex couples and LGBT people are just as qualified as anyone else to parent and provide loving homes for children in need.”
Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) told Georgia Voice the rest of the committee found out about the proposed language shortly before the meeting, and said it was not expected at all. He said the Division of Family and Children Services reported that should such legislation pass, “the state would be subject to losing hundreds of millions of dollars of federal money.”
The changes to House Bill 159 were done over the objections of its sponsor, state Rep. Bert Reeves, R-Marietta, who said he had been notified of them less than two hours before Thursday’s hearing….
…The committee’s 7-4 vote to approve the bill with the changes moves it on to the powerful Senate Rules Committee, which will decide whether to send the bill to the chamber floor for a vote.