Lawmakers in Texas have just voted to allow Christian adoption and foster care agencies, including those that receive taxpayers’ money, to cite a religious exemption as a legal defense for declining to hand over children to homosexuals and people who aren’t married.
It also provides protections for agencies who intend to enroll children in religious educational institutions, as well as those who decline to provide referrals for abortion or contraceptives.
“This provides a reasonable accommodation to those who are helping solve our foster care crisis,” bill author Rep. James Frank, R-Wichita Falls told the Statesman. “This bill will make more foster care homes available.”
Democrats had proposed amendments to the legislation to prohibit organizations from making decisions based on the prospective family’s religion, “sexual orientation” or “gender identity,” but those proposals were rejected.
Rep. James Frank, who wrote the bill, said that since most adoptions go through Child Protective Services, the law won’t affect them.
“This is really to give quick, clear certainty to providers so they can take care of children instead of fighting lawsuits. We want to make reasonable accommodations so everyone can participate in the system. Everyone is welcome, but you don’t have to think alike to participate. My guess is if you have an LGBT agency they’re going to pick an LGBT family, and if you have a Baptist agency they may be more likely to pick a Baptist family. They’re free to do that and should be free to do that.”