Texas adoption agencies could soon ban LGBT, Jews, & Muslims

UPDATE: Texas House lawmakers voted to approve the broad “license to discriminate” bill for child placement and protection agencies. Among other things, the bill would allow foster and adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex families and allow agencies to subject LGBTQ children under their care to “religious education.”

via Think Progress

A proposal in the Texas Republican-controlled Legislature would allow state-funded or private agencies with religious objections to reject Jewish, Muslim, gay, single, or interfaith parents seeking to adopt children.

Five other states have passed similar laws protecting faith-based adoption organizations that refuse to place children with gay parents or other households on religious grounds — but Texas’ rule would extend to state-funded agencies. Only South Dakota’s is similarly sweepingly.

“This would allow adoption agencies to turn away qualified, loving parents who are perhaps perfect in every way because the agency has a difference in religious belief,” said Catherine Oakley, senior legislative counsel for the Human Rights Campaign. “This goes against the best interest of the child.”

The bill also blatantly violates the Constitution, Oakley added.

“As a governmental entity, Texas is bound to treat people equally under the law,” said Oakley. “This is a violation of equal protection under the law.”

Not only could agencies turn away hopeful parents under the religious freedom provision, but they could require children in the foster care system to comply with their faith-based requirements.

That means child welfare organizations could send LGBTQ kids to conversion therapy, a treatment designed to turn people straight — which the Pan American Health Organization calls a “serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people.”

via NBC News