By Kurt Löwenstein Educational Center International Team from Germany (ws'08 (3)) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Kurt Löwenstein Educational Center International Team from Germany (ws’08 (3)) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Bill in Alabama can deny gay couples from adopting children.
Gay couples in Alabama may just find it harder to adopt as a new bill protecting the interests of faith-based organizations will be signed. The bill allows faith-based orphanages to reject couples who are not in line with their religious beliefs. While supporters claim this bill is required to protect the interests of the organizations, opponents argue the bill is discriminatory against certain groups of people.

The bill will allow faith-based organizations to reject couples who apply to adopt children based on their religious beliefs. This means orphanages run by religious groups can reject couples who are atheists, agnostics, of different religions, pro-choice and even gay. For State Rep. Patricia Todd, Alabama’s only openly gay lawmaker, this bill is blatantly discriminatory and should not be put into force. As for now, it is not yet known if the state Governor, Kay Ivey, will sign the bill or not.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Rich Wingo, who believes the bill is required to protect the interests of faith-based organizations. In other states, the governments have refused to grant licenses to faith-based organizations in their states if they refuse to allow parents from groups that are against their faith to adopt. Wingo says although such a thing has not yet happened in Alabama, it is important to take every measure possible to prevent it from happening. He says faith-based organizations have had to shut down all across the country because the government forces them to take decisions that are against their religious beliefs, and insists that such a thing should not happen to the organizations in Alabama as well. As of today, 30 percent of the placement agencies in the state are run by religious organizations.

Rep. Todd argued there are a number of children who need to be adopted, and there are a number of gay parents who want to adopt. As such, bringing in such a rule would only cause more pain and hurt. Similarly, deputy legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, David Dinielli condemned this bill as “prejudice cloaked in religion,” arguing that the bill would hurt vulnerable children who would have otherwise found a home with those couples whom the organizations deem unqualified to adopt simply because of their religious differences.

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