Texas House OKs letting adoption agencies ban Jews, gays, Muslims

Texas House OKs letting adoption agencies ban Jews, gays, Muslims

Texas' per-pupil spending continues to fall farther below the national average, despite the state Supreme Court declaring the public school finance system barely constitutional a year ago.

Opponents of the bill say its discriminatory intent is unconstitutional.

The Texas House of Representatives has passed a measure to allow adoption agencies discriminate against LGBT people.

Rebecca Robertson, legal and policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, said the proposed measure violates the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection Clause because it does not treat all families and children who need child welfare services equally. "When children are removed from their families because of neglect or abuse, the State has an obligation to place them in homes based on the children's needs and the prospective family's ability to meet those needs, not on the religious beliefs of the agency hired by the State to find them homes".

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In the Austin, Texas, soon the petition of seeking for adoption by childless couples could be rejected by various public or private agencies, and the main objections will be of religious objective, which includes of one being Jewish, Muslim, interfaith, or being gay couples.

The bill is known as 'Freedom to Serve Children Act and it could allow child welfare providers that contract with the state to use taxpayer money to reject families based on religion, sexuality and marital status.

Oakley added that she believes the bill is unconstitutional because these agencies are state-funded. The Senate must recognize this bill for what it is: "an attempt to discriminate against LGBTQ Texans, this time targeting some of Texas' most vulnerable residents: "children in the child welfare system".

The bill is similar to HB 3864, which failed to pass during the state's 2015 legislative session.

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This means that same-sex couples or transgender parents could be refused the right to adopt. It isn't in the best interest of a child to deny them a qualified, loving family simply because that family doesn't share all of the tenets of the placing agency's faith.

Nationally and locally, anti-LGBTQ and anti-reproductive rights advocates have strived to frame government oversight and enforcement of nondiscrimination protections as "discrimination". "HB 3859 only accentuates and gives credence to discrimination". If it clears the House, the bill heads to the even more conservative Senate and then for an approval signature by Gov. Greg Abbott, who has not commented on the bill. Frank avoided entertaining the hypotheticals, claiming that the intent was more important than the text of the bill and that it wouldn't implicate child placements.

Republican sponsors of Texas' bill say it is created to retain providers by shielding them from possible court fights.

Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, said she is concerned that the bill could restrict access to contraceptives for young people in foster care, noting that 50 percent of young women in foster care become pregnant at least once before their 19th birthday.

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