The bill will allow adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples because of their religious beliefs.
Oklahoma has passed Senate Bill 1140 which will allow adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples from adopting. The bill had previously been passed by the state’s Senate last month.
The bill now needs to be signed into approval by Governor Mary Fallin, who is a Republican, and if she does it is expected to come into force on November 1.
If the bill is signed into approval, Oklahoma will be the eighth state to enable adoption agencies to refuse same-sex couples. The other seven are Alabama, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Virginia.
The bill reads that “no private childplacing agency receiving neither federal nor state funds 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 legislation was condemned, with GLAAD’s vice-president of programmes Zeke Stokes saying: “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 continued, saying that the bill was an “attempt to write anti-LGBTQ discrimination into law at the expense of the state’s youth in need of loving and supportive homes.”
And it will as no surprise to anyone that the Trump administration won’t intervene. Back in October, the Department of Justice issued guidance on a religious freedom document that allowed businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ people.
In a statement, the Attorney General Jeff Sessions said: “Religious liberty is not merely a right to personal religious beliefs or even to worship in a sacred place.
“Except in the narrowest of circumstances, no one should be forced to choose between living out his or her faith and complying with the law.”
Perhaps more worryingly however, the Trump administration announced the formation of a new division of the Office of Civil Rights which will allow healthcare providers to discriminate against LGBTQ people.
Jerame Davis, Executive Director of Pride At Work, condemned this new division saying: “President Trump’s Health and Human Services Department is playing with people’s lives in their latest attempt to upend LGBTQ rights.
“This brand of so-called ‘religious freedom’ is a mockery of the fundamental religious protections provided by our Constitution. It is not ‘freedom’ of religion to use your faith as a weapon to harm others.”