NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — On the first day of the new legislative session, Tennessee lawmakers passed a bill to allow adoption agencies to deny same-sex couples.
Senate Bill 1304 prohibits private licensed child-placing agencies from being required to participate in the placement of a child if doing so “violates the agency’s written religious or moral convictions or policies.”
Additionally, the measure prohibits the state from denying an agency’s license because the agency refused to place a child due to the group’s “moral convictions.” It also protects agencies from being sued.
The Senate passed the bill 20-6 on Tuesday. Sen. Rusty Crowe (R-Johnson City) voted for the measure. Five Republicans declined to vote on the bill, including Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) and Sen. Jon Lundberg (R-Bristol).
The House passed its version of the bill last April.
The measure now heads to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk. The governor said early Tuesday that he did not want to comment until he reads the bill when it gets to his desk, but late Tuesday his office said Lee would sign the bill.