OKLAHOMA CITY – A national organization is stepping in to fight proposed changes to adoption laws in our state.
The Human Rights Campaign called Senate Bill 1140 “troubling,” and also said it will give adoption agencies a license to discriminate against the LGBTQ community.
“To say that these kids would be better off in custody than in a loving and safe home is ludicrous,” said Kris Williams.
The bill would allow private adoption agencies to turn families away if their religious or moral beliefs don’t align with those of the agencies’.
“This bill is nothing more than the modern 21st century version of Jim Crows laws,” said Rep. Collin Walke.
The author of the bill denied the legislation would allow agencies to discriminate.
“When we see this protection go into place, we see increased child placements,” said Rep. Travis Dunlap.
For mothers like Kris Williams, she said the bill discriminates against her.
“As an LGBTQ community member, I have not added to the problem of our children in custody, but I have been a solution to that problem,” said Williams.
Williams adopted her son six years ago. Now, she’s worried if she’ll be able to adopt more children under this bill.
“Really what this bill does, it prevents my family from growing,” she said.
During the House Judiciary Committee, Republican Representative Leslie Osborn added an amendment to the bill.
“But if you are using state and federal dollars, I believe in the separation of church and state, so this simply says you may do whatever you want as long as you’re not receiving federal and state funds,” Osborn said.
The amendment said if the agencies discriminate, they’ll lose out on taxpayer dollars.
“This is a bigoted amendment to be broad about it. This discriminates against Catholics, Baptists, Assemblys of God, Pentecostals, a whole list and a whole host of other faith groups by regulating them to be second class citizens,” said Rep. Kevin Calvey.
Williams said Calvey has it all wrong.
“With the amendment, as a taxpaying citizen, you’re saying that you can take my tax dollars and turn around and discriminate against me with those same tax dollars,” Williams said.
The amendment and the bill passed committee, they’ll head to the full House for a vote.