House panel moves to protect ‘religious conviction’ of adoption agencies

By Juliegrace Brufke

The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday adopted a GOP funding bill amendment that would ensure adoption agencies aren’t denied federal funding if they choose not to place children with LGBTQ couples.

The measure, introduced by Rep. Robert Aderholt, drew swift condemnation from Democrats, but the Alabama Republican defended it as necessary for allowing social-services agencies to exercise their religious freedom.

“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,” he said in a statement.

Under the “minibus” funding bill amendment, the Department of Health and Human Services would be required to withhold 15 percent of federal funding for child welfare services from states that themselves withhold funding for organizations that require children be placed with heterosexual married couples. 

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