A bill introduced last week to the Alabama Legislature could allow adoption agencies, including those with state contracts, to refuse to place children with gay couples on religious grounds, reports Beaumont Enterprise.
Sponsored by Republican Senator Gerald Allen (right), the bill would also prohibit Alabama from refusing to license or contract with groups refusing services to people on religious grounds.
The bill is wide-ranging in scope as it does not specify gay couples. Rather, it allows faith-based groups to refuse services that violate any of their religious beliefs.
Allen said the bill aims to protect religious groups, including children's homes affiliated with the Baptist and Catholic churches, in anticipation that the Supreme Court could legalize same-sex marriage later this year.
Eric Johnston, an attorney who worked on the bill, said that it allows religious groups to observe their own rights and beliefs but does not discriminate against gay couples.
However, opponents claim it would provide legal cover for discrimination against a diverse array of families seeking to adopt.
Human Rights Campaign Alabama state director R. Ashley Jackson said that "decisions about prospective parents should be based on the best interest of the child, not on discriminatory factors unrelated to good parenting.”
Johnston added that legislation is likely to soon be introduced to provide civil protections to florists, bakers and others who refuse to provide services at same-sex weddings.
Earlier this week, Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (above, right) said that if he didn't speak out against same-sex marriage, he'd be guilty of treason.
Watch Moore compare same-sex marriage to slavery, AFTER THE JUMP...