Tennessee bill letting faith-based entities decline adoptions advances

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee House panel has advanced a bill that would allow faith-based orphanages and child-placement organizations to decline adoptions or foster care based on religious beliefs, including opposition to LGBT parents.

The House Children & Families Subcommittee cast a favorable voice vote Tuesday on Republican Rep. Tim Rudd’s legislation. It was amended to apply only to faith-based organizations.

Rudd said the bill aims to protect faith-based organizations from possible lawsuits when they refuse to place children due to religious beliefs. Rudd said that under his bill, LGBT people could still adopt through non-faith-based organizations and any faith-based ones that don’t object.

The Tennessee Equality Project has deemed the legislation an adoption discrimination bill.

Tuesday’s vote marked the bill’s first advancement. It hasn’t moved yet in the Senate.

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