LGBTQ Corner

Antigay Adoption Bills

Michigan and Florida have moved forward in their pursuit to pass a law allowing adoption agencies to refuse to place children in homes with same-sex or LGBT parents.

The bills would allow adoption agencies who receive state funding to refuse to serve or place children with families that conflict with the organizations “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

House democrats in opposition to the bill said they are “not just a license to discriminate. It’s actually writing a check for discrimination.”

According to Rep. Jon Hoadley, “[the adoption agencies] put the best interest of the agency over the child.”

Religious Freedom Bill Fails in W. Virginia

During this legislative season, three “religious freedom” bills were proposed, and failed, in West Virginia.

Any of the three bills would have allowed any business to discriminate against any customer who did not fit into their religious beliefs. Another of the laws would have prohibited cities and counties from enacting and enforcing LGBT-inclusive antidiscrimination laws.

The religious freedom bills are aimed primarily at businesses that wish to refuse to provide wedding-related goods and services to same-sex couples after an influx in lawsuits in recent years.

Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas recently passed laws such as these religious freedom bills, and Indiana is one vote away from the license to discriminate.

“Conscientious Objector”

While states like Mississippi and Tennessee have passed religious freedom bills, Texas is in the process of trying to pass a bill to protect those they call “conscientious observers.” This bill would protect the business and people who want to refuse service to anyone in the LGBT community because they disagree with their lifestyle.

The bill wouldn’t allow any government agency to take any action against a conscientious observer that would put them in a worse place than they were in before.

The difference between the religious freedom bills and the conscientious observer bills is that the religious freedom bills never explicitly mention the LGBT community in the actual bill. Texas’ conscientious observer bill mentions quite clearly that the conscientious observer would be allowed to refuse service to same-sex couples or LGBT people.

Utah passes LGBT-inclusive antidiscrimination bill

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert recently signed an LGBT-inclusive antidiscrimination law. While this law is a very large step towards an all-inclusive Utah, the state says it will allow some employees to opt out of performing same-sex marriages.

The bill bans housing or employment discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. Utah is the nineteenth state to enforce a law based on both housing discrimination and employment discrimination.