Before leaving town for a two-week recess, anti-LGBTQ members of Congress gave notice that undermining LGBTQ families may be next on their agenda with the reintroduction of the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act.
Currently, there are over 405,000 children in foster care in the U.S., and roughly 100,000 are in need of a permanent, adoptive home. The legislation sponsored by Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) would allow adoption or foster care providers to refuse service on the basis of their personal religious objections—the consequences of which would be disastrous for some of America’s most vulnerable kids. Opening the door to discrimination, like this legislation does, would add to the inequality and prejudice LGBTQ families experience and would shrink the pool of qualified foster and adoptive families.
The primary purpose of the legislation is to shamefully block LGBTQ individuals or same-sex couples from adopting or fostering a child, but the ripple effect of its provisions extend far beyond our community. If passed into law, this bill would allow a religiously affiliated adoption agency to deny service to a non-Christian, straight couple. A single parent seeking to foster a child in need could be turned away just because they are not married. Under the guise of religion, the bill allows children to be used as pawns, losing the opportunity to have a forever family for the sake of political expediency. Taxpayer funds should not be used to discriminate, and must not be allowed to strip away hope from the thousands of children who need loving homes.
HRC has alerted our friends in Congress about the dangers of this legislation, and we are working closely with them to prevent it from advancing.