Alabama Governor Must Veto Discriminatory Anti-LGBT Child Welfare LegislationBy Adam Polaski • April 26, 2017 • 4:54 pm
Late on Tuesday, April 25, the Alabama House of Representatives gave final approval to a measure allowing taxpayer funded child placement agencies to discriminate against loving and qualified parents based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
House Bill 24, which now heads to Republican Gov. Kay Ivey’s desk, is similar to measures that have popped up in legislatures across the country this year. In March, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed Senate Bill 149 into law, which, like Alabama’s HB 24, allows taxpayer funded child-placement agencies to deny services, such as adoption and foster care, to qualified lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents, based on the agency’s religious or moral beliefs. A similar measure, SB 892, is stalled in the Texas legislature.
Matt McTighe, executive director of Freedom for All Americans, released the following statement regarding the discriminatory measure:
“This is a disturbing and dangerous trend that lawmakers are advancing across the nation. Measures like HB 24 are just another form of LGBT discrimination. This legislation does nothing but allow taxpayer funded agencies from placing vulnerable and helpless children with safe and loving families. This is wrong on every level. We urge Gov. Ivey to do what is best for Alabama’s children and veto this dangerous legislation.”
Alex Smith, Board Chair of Equality Alabama, added: “The Alabama House of Representatives proved today that they don’t have the best interest of the nearly 5,000 children in Alabama’s child placing systems in mind. This bill robs these children of a loving home and gives the state’s seal of approval to unnecessary religious exemptions that open the door to discrimination. If Governor Ivey signs this bill into law, my husband Michael and I – and so many other LGBTQ couples – could be discriminated against by child placing agencies and their employees.”