This week in Tennessee, lawmakers introduced a set of bills allowing adoption agencies to refuse their services to LGBT couples for religious purposes. Oklahoma and Kansas each passed similar legislation last year.
A bill filed by state Sen. Joey Hensley (R) and Rep. John Ragan (R), would allow adoption agencies in Tennessee to deny services to LGBT couples if those services go against the agency’s “sincerely held religious beliefs.”
On Wednesday, state Rep. Tim Rudd (R) also introduced a bill which would prohibit an adoption agency in the state from being “required to perform, assist, consent to, refer, or participate in any child placement for foster care or adoption that would violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions.” Rudd’s bill would also prevent the agencies from being sued over their decision.
Sen. Hensley had to comment,
We were concerned that adoption agencies, such as religious adoption agencies, would be required to allow adoption when they had religious beliefs that contradicted certain lifestyles,” … “That they would be forced to allow adoptions to people they felt were not appropriate parents, so we didn’t want those agencies to not be able to provide adoptions.”
Hensley would also say that he doesn’t “think a gay couple is the best environment for children.”