Texas lawmakers are coming closer to passing a bill that would allow religious adoption agencies to place children with families according to their religious beliefs.
The Texas Senate approved the “Freedom to Serve Children Act” Monday morning, which passes the bill to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott for approval, reports ABC News.
The legislation would protect religious adoption agencies that do not want to place children with gay and lesbian couples. It would also allow them to refuse to let non-Christians or unmarried people adopt children through their agency. Most religious agencies pointed out they already operate under those standards, but the bill would offer them protection against potential lawsuits.
“This bill doesn’t prohibit particular groups from adopting. It doesn’t establish one faith over another,” sponsor Republican Sen. Charles Perry, the bill’s sponsor said.
A Democratic lawmaker also voted for the bill, saying he wanted the bill to encourage more religious adoption agencies to rise, since they would now have legal protection.
“It’s about increasing capacity, it’s about providing homes for kids,” Sen. Eddie Lucio said.
Some groups called the bill proof of discrimination, and claim it will hurt children who need homes.
“It is unconscionable that a bill would prioritize discrimination over the best interest of kids in the child welfare system, but Texas lawmakers have done just that,” Marty Rouse, a national field director for the Human Rights Campaign, said.
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