State Watch

Oklahoma governor signs law allowing adoption agencies to ban same-sex couples

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) on Friday signed into law a bill that critics say will allow adoption and foster care agencies to ban same-sex couples on religious grounds. 

The bill states that private child-placement agencies should not be required by law to “participate in any placement of a child for foster care or adoption when the proposed placement would violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions or policies.”

The measure has faced opposition from LGBTQ advocacy groups. GLAAD called the legislation “heartless and un-American,” and Oklahomans for Equality said that they are considering taking legal action against the state.

{mosads}”The idea that bigotry trumps decency is really reprehensible,” said Sharon Bishop-Baldwin, vice president of Oklahomans for Equality’s board of directors. “I am horribly disappointed in Governor Fallin tonight.”

Freedom Oklahoma Executive Director Troy Stevenson said in a statement that his group plans to sue, telling Fallin in a statement: “We’ll see you in court!”

Fallin argued in a statement that the bill will not restrict LGBTQ and same-sex couples from adopting or fostering children, and says that states that do not allow faith-based child placement groups to reject same-sex couples have had these organizations leave the state.

“The bill will help continue Oklahoma’s successful placement of children with a broad array of loving families,” she said in the release. “In a day and time when diversity is becoming a core value to society because it will lead to more options, we should recognize its value for serving Oklahoma also because it leads to more options for loving homes to serve Oklahoma children.”

Similar legislation has passed in several other states, including Kansas, where a bill is waiting for GOP Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer’s signature.


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