Gov. Lee signs adoption legislation allowing agencies to deny same-sex couples

Published: Jan. 24, 2020 at 3:34 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a bill Friday, allowing adoption agencies to to deny same-sex couples.

In summary, the bill “prohibits a private licensed child-placing agency from being required to perform, assist, consent to, refer, or participate in any child placement for foster care or adoption that would violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions.”

The Senate passed the bill Jan. 14, which was a hold over from the 2019 legislative session.

Still, some lawmakers are disappointed with the passing of a bill that could stop the adoption of children.

According to Senator Raumesh Akbari, there are roughly 10,000 children in state custody.

“If you’re going to turn away a loving home, a safe and happy family for that child to be in to have a permanent home just because they might be in a LGBTQ relationship, it’s just wrong,” she said.

The bill is sponsored by Senator Paul Rose, R-Covington, who said no licensed adoption agency would be required to participate in a child’s placement for foster care or adoption if doing so would “violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions or policies.”

“This bill does not in any way prohibit the placement of a child in a non-traditional, again a home that represents a mom and a dad,” said Senator Paul Rose. “This bill simply protects freedom to place children in homes that agree with their stated religious and moral convictions.”

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