Georgia’s state legislators have passed a bill that will allow adoption agencies from refusing same-sex couples based on their religious beliefs. In addition, the bill blocks the Georgia Department of Human Services from interfering with these agencies.
As LGBTQNation reports, Senate Bill 375, otherwise known as “Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act” was introduced by Republican State Senator William Ligon.
The State Senate debated the bill for over an hour with many referencing the 2015 Supreme Court ruling over same-sex marriage.
That said, Sen. Ligon was adamant that the bill wasn’t discriminatory.
“This bill does not prevent anyone from adopting,” he said.
Democratic State Senator Jen Jordan asked Ligon why such a bill was even needed as there was no record of adoption agencies in Georgia being discriminated against because of their faith.
State Sen. Nan Orrock (D) also shared the fact that this ends up harming children more than it helps them.
“This proposition that we should encourage agencies and change our law and protect agencies that are going to deny loving families the opportunity to adopt is backwards on its face,” Orrock said.
“You want more families coming forward to adopt children and reduce the load of children stuck in the foster system? The way that you do that is not to bar LGBT couples from adopting”
“It’s a slap in the face to same-sex couples that would consider adoption,” she said.
“For these kids who are in foster care to have healthy, productive lives, the sooner that we get them into care, the better. And if that couple is gay, why does it matter?,” she added, “Whether you’re gay or straight doesn’t have anything to do with making you a good parent.”
Now as of February 20, the bill has passed the State Senate by a vote of 35-19. It will now move to the State House to be discussed over there.
In the meantime, LGBTQ group Georgia Equality has announced a March 1 rally across from the Capitol to protest the bill.