NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee lawmakers have advanced a proposal allowing faith-based adoption agencies to refuse to place children with gay parents and other families because of their religious beliefs.
The GOP-dominant House overwhelmingly voted in support of the proposal on Monday. The bill must now pass the Senate before it can reach the governor’s desk for final approval.
Supporters argue that while faith-based adoption agencies have been operating without issue, the move is needed to protect against potential lawsuits hostile to the group’s religious beliefs. However, opponents counter the measure will give adoption agencies free reign to discriminate against LGBT families, single parents and non-Christians in placing children.
Republican Rep. Tim Rudd of Murfreesboro says nine other states have similar laws on the books including Virginia, Texas and South Dakota.