A little more than a month after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of religious freedom in the Colorado Cakeshop case, House republicans in the House Appropriations Committee have attached an amendment to a government funding bill that would allow taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBT families based on religious beliefs.
The amendment in question, which was attached to a funding bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, would not only encourage discrimination against LGBT families, but also punish LGBT-friendly states that currently penalize agencies that act on their religious beliefs and place children only into the homes of heterosexual married couples. The amendment would cut 15 percent of funding for states that penalize those agencies, which only makes it more difficult for children in need to find a home.
“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 Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement following the passing of the amendment. “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.”
But LGBTQ couples aren’t the only ones who could be affected by the amendment — interfaith couples, single parents and couples who are married but have been divorced are also at risk of being denied the chance to adopt or foster. If the amendment remains on the bill and passes in the House of Representatives, this would expand the right to discriminate against LGBT families across the nation. As of now, nine states, including Alabama, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Virginia, already have laws in place that allow taxpayer-funded agencies to turn away prospective parents on the basis of religious freedom.
While it’s possible the appropriations bill could be killed on the house floor, the attachment of this anti-LGBT adoption amendment is yet another attack on the LGBT community disguised as the expansion of freedom.