Lawyers and allied attorneys from influential anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) have been working to pass and defend legislation in at least five states that allows child welfare agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ people, among others, in adoption and foster care. In 2017, three states passed anti-LGBTQ adoption laws, and a sweeping anti-LGBTQ religious exemptions law in Mississippi also included provisions about adoption and foster care. Georgia’s state Senate passed a similar bill in February, to be considered by its House, and at least three other states are considering similar bills this year.
States are considering and passing bills that allow adoption and foster care agencies to deny services to LGBTQ people
Georgia is considering a bill that would allow adoption and foster care agencies to deny services to LGBTQ people after three states passed similar bills in 2017. Georgia’s state Senate passed a bill “that could enable child welfare organizations to stop same-sex parents from adopting on grounds of religious beliefs,” according to Newsweek. The bill, if passed, could allow adoption and foster care agencies “to refuse referrals that are deemed to violate ‘sincerely held religious beliefs.’” In 2017, Texas, South Dakota, and Alabama passed similar bills, and Mississippi’s sweeping anti-LGBTQ religious exemptions bill -- which went into effect in October -- also included provisions allowing child welfare agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ people based on so-called “religious freedom.” According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), at least three other states besides Georgia are considering similar bills this year: Colorado, Kansas, and Oklahoma. In 2015, Michigan passed a trio of anti-LGBTQ adoption laws that are being challenged in court. [Newsweek, 2/26/18; NBC News, 1/12/18, 9/20/17; NewNowNext, 10/2/17; American Civil Liberties Union, accessed 2/27/18; Rewire, 12/6/16]
ADF and its allies are involved in pushing for anti-LGBTQ adoption and foster care bills in at least 5 states
ADF-allied attorney Dave Baker testified in favor of Georgia’s anti-LGBTQ adoption bill at a state Senate judiciary subcommittee hearing. According to The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, ADF-allied attorney and Faith & Freedom Coalition of Georgia Executive Director Dave Baker testified before a Georgia Senate subcommittee in February in favor of Georgia’s anti-LGBTQ adoption bill. According to the report, Baker said, “It’s not asking too much ... to allow a relative handful of faith-based agencies to adhere to their sincerely held religious beliefs in placing children just with traditional families.” Baker has also testified at a City Schools of Decatur meeting against its policy allowing transgender students to use the restroom facilities that align with their gender identity, a major policy priority of ADF and its allies. [The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2/8/18; Faith & Freedom Coalition of Georgia, accessed 2/27/18; Media Matters, 11/27/17]