Some States Allowing Agencies to Refuse Same-Sex Adoptions

Despite the great strides LGBT Americans have made over the years, some states are still trying to deny adoptions to same-sex couples.

A happy family, formed through one of many same-sex adoptions

Even before the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional right to same-sex marriage this past June, people and agencies have pursued laws that would allow them to deny service to same-sex couples based on religious beliefs. Michigan, Virginia, and North Dakota allow adoption agencies to refuse service on religious grounds. Texas, Florida, and Alabama introduced similar legislation in 2015.

As the rights to marriage for LGBT people progress, religious-exemption laws seem to expand in parallel and, as a recent article in The Atlantic points out, “Rather than protecting the religious liberties of individuals and agencies, [religious-exemption legislation at the state level] essentially allows agents of the state to discriminate.” In the case of adoption agencies, this may prevent thousands of children from finding permanent homes.


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