On May 3, Alabama’s governor, Kay Ivey, signed into law House Bill 24, which allows faith-based adoption agencies to deny services to LGBT prospective parents. This law follows the mid-March passage of a similar bill in South Dakota (SB 149), and laws passed in recent years in Michigan, North Dakota, and Virginia. Texas has filed an even more far-reaching bill (SB 651), which would extend to more than 65 licensed occupations.
While Ivey and proponents of Alabama’s “religious liberties” bill, officially known as the “Alabama Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act,” have claimed that it is “not about discrimination,” Randall Marshall, the Legal Director for ACLU Alabama has said that “it’s hard to see this as anything but animus toward LGBT families” and cautions that “the bill could have a greater effect than that.” In a statement release after the passage of the South Dakota law, the Human Rights Campaign warned that it could also allow for discrimination against “interfaith couples, single parents, married couples in which one prospective parent has previously been divorced, or other parents to whom the agency has a purported religious objection.”
Ultimately, the population that will be affected most negatively are children in the states’ foster systems, who may lose the opportunity to grow up in stable, loving homes.