Kansas agency backs bill allowing adoption agencies to refuse LGBT couples

The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) is backing a bill that would let adoption agencies refuse to work with LGBT couples.

"By passing this bill, it is an opportunity for additional (child placement agencies) that have had concerns of working in Kansas in the past, to come along side DCF to locate and maintain homes in which to place Kansas’ children," DCF Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel said in a statement, according to the Wichita Eagle.

The bill would let organizations refuse to place children with certain families on religious grounds.

Adoption agencies that deny placements based on religious beliefs also could not be barred from government contracts under the legislation.

Meier-Hummel said the bill addresses "possible barriers that may be keeping [child placement agencies] from coming to Kansas to work with DCF."

But critics of the legislation say it is discriminatory.

"They’re wanting to tap into taxpayer money that gay and lesbian couples around the state pay just like everyone else and then deny us service," said Tom Witt, director of Equality Kansas.

On Tuesday, the Federal and State Affairs committees in both the Kansas state House and Senate held hearings on the legislation.