Oklahoma Passes Adoption Law That LGBT Groups Call Discriminatory

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Oklahoma Senate Bill 1140 allows agencies to deny adoptions and foster care placements if a given placement violates an agency's "written religious or moral convictions or policies".

The Family Equality Council, which advocates for LGBTQ families, said the law allows religious groups 'to discriminate on the basis of their belief that LGBTQ people should not be raising children'. By protecting their right to operate in accordance with their religious beliefs, supporters say it encourages placing agencies to do business in Oklahoma.

And Troy Stevenson, Executive Director of Freedom Oklahoma, issued a statement which read, in part: "While we are deeply disappointed that Governor Fallin choose to sign discrimination into law, we are more concerned about the children - desperately looking for homes - that will be harmed by this disgraceful legislation". "This measure serves no legitimate policy goal".

As queer and trans advocacy groups in Oklahoma pursue legal action to overturn the law, almost every leading civil rights organization has come out to oppose SB 1140.

"And the countless young people who will be stigmatized by state sanctioned hate", Stevenson added.

"Republican voters believe in the Second Amendment and they believe they should be able to exercise that right with as little interference from the government as possible", Worthen said.

"Oklahoma is a state that respects the Second Amendment", Fallin said. And there are loving and qualified LGBT individuals and couples in Oklahoma who want nothing more than to give those children the warm, caring and safe environment they deserve.

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Currently, five states - Mississippi, Michigan, Virginia, Texas, Alabama, South Dakota and North Dakota - have similar laws on the books, although Michigan's law is being challenged in the federal courts thanks to the ACLU.

An opponent of same-sex marriage, Fallin has an anti-LGBT history as governor of Oklahoma. "Make no mistake, we will fight for the most vulnerable Oklahomans targeted by this law and, if necessary, we will do so in a court of law".

The law Fallin vetoed would have made Oklahoma a so-called "constitutional carry" state, meaning almost all adults could carry a gun with no or minor restrictions.

"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.

Fallin, a Republican, said adoptions and foster care are now allowed for LGBT and same-sex couples.

Currey Cook, counsel and director for the Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project at Lambda Legal, urged Coyler not to follow Fallin's lead and veto the anti-LGBT adoption bill pending before him.

Acosta argues that with more than 400,000 children in foster care nationwide, including more than 16,000 in Oklahoma, the state's legislature "should be focusing on how it can attract more qualified and loving parents to the system-not rejecting potential homes based on the gender identity or sexual orientation of the parents".

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