House Republicans have passed an amendment out of committee that would protect adoption agencies that refuse gay couples based on religious beliefs. The amendment was authored by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL).
Buzzfeed News reports: ‘The House Appropriations Committee advanced the amendment, introduced by Alabama Rep. Robert Aderholt, that says adoption agencies declining a child welfare service based on “sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions” could not be punished. Specifically, agencies that reject applicants, including gay couples and divorcées, based on religious objections, could not be denied federal funding. Nor could a state deny funding to agencies if it receives federal funding for child welfare services under the Social Security Act. Further, the measure would punish LGBT-friendly states. The Department of Health and Human Services would withhold 15% of its annual adoption dispersals from states that don’t meet the same standards for protecting religious adoption groups. States could lose federal adoption funds, for instance, if they ban anti-LGBT discrimination — thereby tilting federal adoption funding toward states that allow religious recusals.’
Today my colleagues and I of the @HouseAppropsGOP passed my amendment which prohibits the discrimination of child welfare providers based on religious beliefs or moral convictions.
— Rep. Robert Aderholt (@Robert_Aderholt) July 11, 2018
Said Aderholt: “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”
The Hill adds: ‘The conservative group Heritage Action applauded the amendment, calling it a “victory for children and faith-based organizations across the country.”’
Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi denounced the amendment: “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.”