World Media

New Oklahoma law will allow adoption agencies to deny LGBT couples

Mary Fallin

Governor Mary Fallin signed SB 1140 on Friday, legally allowing adoption and foster care placement agencies to refuse families based on religion, Oklahoma's News 4 reports.

When the Supreme Court legalized marriage equality in 2015, faith-based adoption and foster care agencies in localities like California, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C. closed their doors to avoid having to place children in LGBTQ households.

"Gov. Fallin has cemented her legacy, siding with discrimination and the legislature in throwing kids under the bus to create a "license to discriminate" against LGBTQ Oklahomans", Winterhof said. By protecting their right to operate in accordance with their religious beliefs, supporters say it encourages placing agencies to do business in Oklahoma.

Troy Stevenson, Executive Director of Freedom Oklahoma, said he's "deeply disappointed" Fallin signed the measure, but is "more concerned about the children - desperately looking for homes - that will be harmed by this disgraceful legislation". "This measure serves no legitimate policy objective".

"Oklahomans believe that law-abiding individuals should be able to defend themselves", Fallin said in a statement. "Make no mistake, this temporary setback will be rectified when Oklahoma residents elect a new, and genuinely pro-Second Amendment governor", Cox said in a statement.

Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City, and ‪Most Rev. David Konderla, Bishop of Tulsa, two Catholic leaders from Oklahoma's most populous cities, both said they supported the law.

While it could also be used to deny single mothers and interfaith couples, critics insist SB 1140 specificaly targets same-sex couples.

Catholic groups which have supported the legislation agreed it would actually help children by expanding the options for placement in the state.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma accused the state of using LGBT people as "political pawns".

"I might not be standing right here on a invoice as controversial as this if I did not consider it might assist extra youngsters to get into loving houses", Deal with mentioned throughout a typically testy debate close to the top of the legislative session earlier this month. Josh Stickney, Administrative Associate at Equality Federation, is an adoptee & has lived in Oklahoma his entire life stated, "I'm extremely disappointed that our state has made a decision to fund discrimination in our foster care & adoption agencies". "Behind these bills lies an underlying message: We don't want L.G.B.T.Q. people raising children", she said.