Democrats and LGBT activists are angry with the language that a U.S. of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee has added as an amendment to a Labor and Health and Human Services spending bill.
The language seeks to protect religious adoption agencies from being forced to place children in homes with same-sex couples. This would be a definite step in favor of religious liberty protections for religious adoption agencies, but Democrats and LGBT activists aren’t happy about the amendment, calling it “a license to discriminate.”
Rep. Robert Aderholt representing Alabama’s fourth District, introduced the amendment to address two major problems in our society. Rep. Aderholt says the current opioid epidemic has caused “the number of children in foster care across America to skyrocket.” The Congressman noted that in his home state of Alabama, there has been a 30% increase in the past four years alone.
Compounding the problem, Aderholt says that many states are constricting the operation of Christian childcare agencies. “Several states and localities across the country are not allowing religious organizations, such as Catholic Charities and Bethany Christian Services, to operate child welfare agencies. The reason for this is simply because these organizations, based on religious conviction, choose not to place children with same-sex couples. The amendment I introduced seeks to prevent these governments from discriminating against child welfare providers on the basis that the provider declines to provide a service that conflicts with its sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions, and furthermore, it would require the Department of Health and Human Services to withhold 15% of federal funds for child welfare services from states and localities that discriminate against these agencies.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said the amendment is “a sickening new low,” and called the amendment “disgusting, deeply immoral and profoundly offensive …”
Aderholt’s motives are straightforward. He wants to ensure that religious adoption agencies are not marginalized. To encourage states to allow all properly licensed adoption agencies to operate without restrictions based on their religious beliefs. Such adoption agencies play a critical role in decreasing the amount of children bouncing around in the foster care system.