Kansas, Oklahoma approve religious veto on LGBT adoptions

May 4, 2018

By Mitchell Willetts

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — State lawmakers in Kansas and Oklahoma have approved legislation to grant legal protections to faith-based adoption agencies that cite their religious beliefs for not placing children in LGBT homes.

Supporters of such measures argued that the core issue is protecting a group’s right to live out its religious faith, while critics saw them as attacks on LGBT rights. Both Kansas and Oklahoma have GOP-controlled legislatures and governors, but in Kansas, the proposal split Republicans.

The Kansas Senate approved a bill early Friday morning, 24-15, that would prevent faith-based agencies from being barred from providing foster care or adoption services for the state if they refuse to place children in homes violating their “sincerely held” religious beliefs. The House had approved it late Thursday, 63-58.

The action in Kansas came after the Oklahoma House voted 56-21 for a similar measure, sending it to Gov. Mary Fallin, who has not said whether she would sign it. Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer supported his state’s legislation, with his administration arguing that it would encourage faith-based groups to place more abused and neglected children in state custody.

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