Do you believe that adoption agencies in the state should be allowed to refuse service to same-sex, non-Christian and single-parent households on religious grounds? The state Legislature apparently does.
Earlier this month, the House of Representatives voted 56-21 on a bill that would allow faith-based adoption agencies to refuse service to certain would-be parents, even if the organization receives state funds. That same day, the state Senate passed the bill 33-7. At the time of this writing, the measure awaits final approval by Gov. Mary Fallin, who has not made it publicly clear whether she will sign it.
In an interview with Reuters, bill author Sen. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, defended the bill by saying couples that did not meet agencies’ moralistic criteria could simple seek other options.
“It doesn’t do anything ... to prohibit same-sex couples from adopting,” Treat said. “All it does is protect faith-based institutions who wish to participate, and some are sitting on the sideline right now, and I hope to get them involved to help us take care of the huge need.”
Ah, the old separate but equal argument. Treat sounds like he never had to consider what it would be like to drink from only designated water fountains.
Some of these institutions would be receiving state funds while intentionally prohibiting qualified taxpayers from using their service. Freedom of religion does not nullify the separation of church and state. Of course, not every state legislator found themselves backing the bill. Stillwater Democrat and one of the most outspoken members of the House Rep. Corey Williams made an impassioned plea to his colleagues and tweeted out his disgust when the results became final.
“The abomination of process & justice in the OK House of Reps makes me weep for democracy,” Williams wrote. “The priorities of bigotry and hate, under the guise of religious freedom, are truly heartbreaking.”
CFN doesn’t much care for state-sanctioned discrimination. And we can only hope Fallin doesn’t either.