A bill dubbed “un-American” by an LGBTQ advocacy group now heads to the Oklahoma governor’s desk.
The Oklahoma House passed SB 1140 60-26. The bill would allow adoption and foster care agencies to cite religion to turn away same-sex couples, single mothers, interfaith couples and children.
LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD has called the bill “un-American”. GLAAD Vice President Zeke Stokes says called on the Oklahoma House to reject the legislation.
“This bill is heartless and un-American. No qualified parent should be turned away from adoption or foster agencies simply because they are LGBTQ,” Stokes said.
The bill reads that “no private child-placing agency shall be required to perform, assist, counsel, recommend, consent to, refer, or participate in any placement of a child for foster care or adoption when the proposed placement would violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions or policies.” The bill would also prohibit state and local government from denying grants or revoking an agencies license for not participating in the placement of a child.
Freedom Oklahoma Executive Director Troy Stevenson has called on Governor Mary Fallin to veto the legislation.
“SB 1140 is discriminatory, harmful to youth and completely unnecessary. We will continue to fight against it becoming law, we will fight it in the court of public opinion, and we will fight it in court if necessary,” Stevenson said. “We hope this bill does not reach the governor’s desk, but if it does we urge her to veto it.”
Freedom Oklahoma is joined in the call for a veto by the Human Rights Campaign. HRC President Chad Griffin called the bill “deeply discriminatory”.
“We should be making it easier, not harder, for children to find loving homes, and limiting the pool of parents for discriminatory reasons harms the very children these lawmakers are entrusted to protect. If SB1140 becomes law, it could prove catastrophic for Oklahoma’s economy and reputation,” Griffin said.
The bill has already passed through the Senate and will now head to Governor Fallin’s desk.