New bill gives agencies more choice to pick fit parents

By Gary Nesta Jr.
On March 7, 2018

Photo courtesy of Ken Lund, Wikipedia

The Georgia Senate has passed a bill that would allow adoption agencies to turn away couples based on their religious beliefs, and it will be sent to the House for further consideration.

Republicans claim this bill allows for more religious freedom for these institutions, and will lead to even more adoption agencies to open in the state. On the other side of the aisle, Democrats are claiming this bill is an assault on the LGBT community making it nearly impossible for them to grow their families.

Senate Bill 375 or “Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act” was proposed in the Georgia Senate by William Ligon and coauthored among 20 other senators. Senator Ligon claims, “The bill does not prevent anyone from adoption,” however many people see this as discriminatory considering it allows people to be denied adoption based on the agencies religious beliefs.

While the language is this bill is quite vague, people often see discrimination in utilizing religion as a factor in the decision making.

While many make this piece of legislation directed against LGBT families, there is a complete lack of evidence. It passed the Senate with bipartisan support of 35-19. It solidifies religious freedom amongst adoption agencies seeking the most viable candidates to adopt. These accusations are wildly overblown and impugn bigotry on religious individuals.

Religion and bigotry don’t need to be conflated here. Assuming every person of faith is anti-LGBT is nonsense, especially nowadays. Allowing religious people to exercise their fundamental rights does not give anyone the right to discriminate. This is a farce.

To assume this is an excuse for bigotry is morally corrupt. While there are few people who use their religion as an excuse for bigotry, that is not the case for the millions of honest people who want to secure the child’s best interest while not hiding their religious beliefs in public institutions.

Marriage is a staple for people of faith. It is a sign of commitment that promotes a sense of security for children. Kids coming from foster care or adoption agencies need stability more than others because of their impractical pasts. It’ll do immeasurable good bringing kids into homes that show them love and support.

An LGBT couple is fully capable of being religious and being wonderful parents. This is not to be debated here. This bill makes decent people have a fair shot at adopting, regardless of sexual orientation.

Religious people in public agencies have the right to choose whom they see fit to be parents. This goes towards unwed or areligious couples far more than LGBT couples. It is not to say that these people are indefinitely going to be denied a child based solely off of those points, but this bill allows adoption agencies to put the best interest of the children first.

It allows them to exercise their fundamental rights granted by the constitution. It is important that we do not regulate agencies to where they cannot practice their values.

 

gnesta@ramapo.edu

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