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Published On: Mon, May 7th, 2018

Kansas, Oklahoma pass bills to allow exemptions for religious organizations regarding gay adoption

The legislatures of both Kansas and Oklahoma have passed legislation protecting religious adoption agencies’ right to place children only in homes with a mother and a father. The freedom of conscience bill moved forward and could be signed into law this week.

Both bills passed their respective state houses on Thursday, with Kansas’ Senate approving theirs Friday morning. The legislation now goes to their respective governors. Republican Mary Fallin of Oklahoma has not yet decided whether she will sign it into law, whereas Republican Jeff Colyer of Kansas has confirmed he will.

“Catholic Charities and other adoption agencies are key to the fabric of our communities,” Colyer said Friday. “I look forward to signing this bill because it increases the opportunities for needy children to find loving homes.” A Fallin spokesperson says she is currently reviewing the bill.

Alabama, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia currently have laws allowing religious agencies to place children only with married heterosexual couples.

Social conservatives argue there are both religious and secular reasons to insist that children have both a mother and a father.

photo Julyo based on work by Gilbert Baker, 1979 via wikimedia commons

Recently famed author, speaker, and psychologist Jordan Peterson has endorsed the same view.

“Well maybe boys and girls need role models of each sex. I know that’s a terrible thing to say, but it is possible. It’s certainly the case too that intact two-parent families have children that thrive more than broken families and broken families are a catastrophe for everyone,” Peterson argued in a speech last summer. He maintained there was “no evidence whatsoever” that the “traditional family unit is just another construct,” and “plenty of counter evidence.”

Democratic opponents attacked the measures as discriminating against same-sex households, but supporters say they’re necessary to prevent pro-homosexual activists from suing faith-based agencies out of business.

“This is a matter of activist groups who don’t like certain religious beliefs and they want to use the power of the government to crush people that operate according to those religious beliefs,” Kansas Catholic Conference director Michael Schuttloffel said. Such efforts have caused religious agencies in Illinois, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. to shut down, and Catholic Charities USA to cease adoption operations in Boston, Massachusetts.

Oklahoma GOP state Sen. Greg Treat, suggested that the measure “aids and gets more people involved” in an overburdened adoption system by encouraging agencies to cooperate with the state without fear of religious discrimination. Treat also noted that the bill doesn’t forbid same-sex adoptions, but merely protects agencies from being compelled to facilitate them.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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