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By Amber Randall
Alabama’s governor signed a bill into law Wednesday allowing adoptions agencies to refuse placing children with gay couples.
The law protects adoption agencies that want to adhere to faith-based policies, reports AL.com. The state is banned from denying adoption licenses to such agencies as long as they don’t receive state or federal funding.
“I ultimately signed House Bill 24 because it ensures hundreds of children can continue to find forever homes through religiously-affiliated adoption agencies,” GOP Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement. “This bill is not about discrimination, but instead protects the ability of religious agencies to place vulnerable children in a permanent home.”
House Bill 24 drew a lot of support in the state legislature and house. The Alabama House of Representative passed the bill with a 87-0 vote — only six abstained. The Senate passed it with a 23-9 vote.
“Very thankful to the governor that she believes in and stands up for religious liberty and religious freedom,” Rep. Rich Wingo, the sponsor of the bill, said after Ivey signed it.
Gay advocacy groups are unhappy with the bill and say it is a form of discrimination against gay couples.
“We are deeply disappointed that the legislature and the governor took on this unnecessary, discriminatory bill instead of focusing on how to improve the lives of all Alabamians, no matter who they are or whom they love,” said Eva Kendrick, the state director of Human Rights Campaign Alabama.
Alabama is not the first state to pass such a law. South Dakota, Michigan, North Dakota and Virginia also enacted similar laws.