Oklahoma Republican gov signs law allowing faith-based adoption agencies to refuse LGBT applicants

Oklahoma Republican gov signs law allowing faith-based adoption agencies to refuse LGBT applicants
Oklahoma Republican Gov. Mary Fallin signed a law Friday that allows religious and other child placement agencies to refuse LGBT adoption applications if it goes against their belief systems. (Michał Chodyra/Getty Images)

Oklahoma Republican Gov. Mary Fallin signed a law Friday that states no child placement agency place children up for adoption if the setting involves violations of the agency’s “written religious or moral convictions or policies,” CNN reported.

Fallin said in a statement that the bill still allows the placement of children in a “broad array of loving families.”

Faith-based organizations involved in adoption and foster care have left in other states without similar laws, she added.

Critics of the law disagreed with the governor’s statement that it will not prevent LGBT people from getting a child through adoption or foster care, the report stated.

Are lawsuits expected?

In response to the law’s passage, Oklahomans for Equality posted a Facebook video in which some people say legal action is being considered.

“The idea that bigotry trumps decency is really reprehensible. I am horribly disappointed in Governor Fallin tonight,” Sharon Bishop-Baldwin, vice president of the organization’s board of directors, states in the video.

What else are people saying?

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma accused the state of using LGBT people as “political pawns.”

“SB 1140 is discriminatory, anti-family, anti-children, and anti-First Amendment,” Allie Shinn, external affairs director for the ACLU of Oklahoma, stated in a news release. “Rather than stand up to religious fanaticism, the governor has chosen to reinforce the delusions of those who confuse discrimination with liberty.”

Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City, and ‪Most Rev. David Konderla, Bishop of Tulsa, two Catholic leaders from Oklahoma’s most populous cities, both said they supported the law.

“The new law will bring more adoption services to the state and allow crucial faith-based agencies to continue their decades-long tradition of caring for Oklahoma’s most vulnerable children,” they stated in an Instagram post.

The bill passed in the Republican dominated state House with a 56-21 vote and in the state Senate, 33-7, CNN reported.

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