Texas House OKs letting adoption groups deny non-Christians

Posted May 12, 2017

"House Bill 3859 provides conscience protection for faith-based providers like Buckner Children and Family Services who can not abandon the tenets of our faith", Randy Daniels said in a statement.

The bill would allow children to be placed in religious-based schools, refuse to contract with other organizations that don't share the same religious beliefs and deny referrals for drugs and abortion related contraceptives.

While it's apparent that the bill is primarily aimed at allowing child placement agencies to turn away LGBTQ couples, it would also allow discrimination against prospective parents based on their religion, including interfaith couples, on age, or on marital status.

The bill's sponsor, State Rep. James Frank, R-Wichita Falls, said without the protections the organizations could pull out of the system and hurt the already critical shortage of foster homes. Jessica Farrar of Houston.

"It's not just an attack against homosexual human beings, but its also an attack against human beings that may not have the same spiritual or religious beliefs as these agencies might have", he continued, "so for example, (they're) not allowing a child to be adopted by, say, a Jewish family, because (they're) a Catholic agency".

But Texas' bill is far more expansive than both of its predecessors because HB 3859 offers a broad definition of "child welfare services".

This would have serious consequences for a range of vulnerable communities, including young people and families.

A proposed bill in Texas would allow for private and state-funded adoption agencies to reject applicants for adoption based on their religious objection to their sexual orientation or faith, NBC News reports.

Texas' legislation is bound to attract lawsuits and may not pass constitutional muster.

On the other hand, Texas is preparing to all sorts of agencies, and even reaches outs to the state-funded agencies, which can follow only by the state of South Dakota, which has similar political amendments like of Texas. Giving agencies the right to refuse to work with parents based on religious objections, he argued, is harmful to a much wider range of people.

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Abbott has declared fixing child protective services a priority in the face of rising investigator caseloads and child deaths.

The bill allows Texas to license two family lockdowns, despite court rulings that say such facilities don't meet requirements to care for kids.

"Discrimination in the name of religion has no place in our laws or in our state, and it certainly should not be used to harm children", said Rebecca Robertson, legal and policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.

The state House gave final approval 93-49 on Wednesday, after lengthy debate the previous night. "We were present at the birth", he said.