Recently the Tennessee House of Representatives voted almost unanimously with 67 out of 89 members in favor of allowing faith-based adoption agencies to legally discriminate against gay couples, according to WKRN.
Because the bill passed in the GOP-dominant House of Representatives, it must not be sent to the equally GOP-dominant Senate and if passed there it will make its way to Republican Governor Bill Lee, who can make this bill into law. Judging by the track record of Republicans being against equal rights, it is very likely that this bill will become a law.
The (ostensible) purpose of this bill is to protect faith-based adoption agencies from potential lawsuits, but I suspect that it was created to allow people to legally discriminate against people who are different from them. Representative Tim Rudd justified the bill by saying that Tennessee is following what nine other states have done. My question to him is is he familiar with deontological ethics? Or the categorical imperative? He also mentioned that “faith-based organizations have been sued to the point they’re being driven out of business due to costs.” Perhaps that should be a wakeup call to organizations who think that they can deny a child a loving home because the occupants of said home happen to be in a same-sex relationship?
Opponents of the bill fear that if it becomes law then it would give adoption agencies complete permission to discriminate against anyone who doesn’t adhere to their personal religious beliefs. Democratic Representative John Ray Clemmons commented that within Tennessee there are children who are waiting to be placed with loving parents who will provide for the child and the sexes of the parents shouldn’t have any effect on the adoption process. Additionally, same-sex couples are three times more likely to adopt than heterosexual couples.
I agree with Clemmons – children who don’t have families deserve loving parents and it really shouldn’t matter whether or not those parents are two moms or two dads. I also happen to think that faith-based shouldn’t have the right to discriminate because refusing to give a literal orphaned child a loving home is morally abhorrent and should not be tolerated.