Oklahoma and Kansas have now approved legislation to allow faith-based adoption agencies to refuse LGBT couples.
Supporters of the bill argued the core issue is protecting a group’s right to live out its religious faith but others saw it as an attack on LGBT+ rights, Fox News reported.
Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer supported the new legislation but his administration argued it would encourage faith-based groups to place abused and neglected children in state custody.
Backers of the Kansas bill acknowledged that faith-based agencies have been operating in the state for decades without any issue but they fear this could result in a hostile environment towards some religious groups.
Kansas Catholic Conference director Michael Schuttloffel said: “This is a matter of activist groups who don’t like certain religious beliefs and they want to use the power of the government to crush people that operate according to those religious beliefs.”
LGBT activists argued that enacting such a law would sanction discrimination and support it with taxpayer dollars.
The Oklahoma bill cleared but was met with boisterous objections from the Democrats with the chamber’s presiding officer threatening to have a member removed.
Oklahoma’s sponsoring state Senator Greg Treat said the bill would help get more children into loving homes.
He said: “I believe this bill aids and gets more people involved in the system.”
However, Lori Ross, president of Foster Adopt Connect, said the real problem is the lack of available families and urged LGBT+ couples and single parents to think twice before calling.
Ross said: “If you’re a single person, or a gay person, or a divorced person, or you’re Jewish, then you better think twice before you call.”