Texas adoption agencies could ban Jews, gays, Muslims
AUSTIN, Texas — Parents seeking to adopt children in Texas could soon be rejected by statefunded or private agencies with religious objections to them being Jewish, Muslim, gay, single, or interfaith couples, under a proposal in the Republicancontrolled Legislature.
Five other states have passed similar laws protecting faithbased adoption organizations that refuse to place children with gay parents or other households on religious grounds — but Texas’ rule would extend to state-funded agencies. Only South Dakota’s is similarly sweepingly.
The bill had been scheduled for debate and approval Saturday in the state House, but lawmakers bogged down with other matters. It now is expected to come up next week. Republican sponsors of Texas’ bill say it is designed to support the religious freedom of adoption agencies and foster care providers. Many of the agencies are private and faith-based but receive state funds.
But opponents say it robs children of stable homes while funding discrimination with taxpayer dollars.
“This would allow adoption agencies to turn away qualified, loving parents who are perhaps perfect in every way because the agency has a difference in religious belief,’’ said Catherine Oakley, senior legislative counsel for the Human Rights Campaign.