Kansas Governor Urged to Veto Anti-LGBTQ Bill Child Welfare BillBy Adam Polaski • May 4, 2018 • 10:39 am
Early Friday morning the Kansas Senate voted 24-15 in favor of a SB284, a bill that could allow child welfare agencies a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people, single mothers, and other families. By citing “sincerely held” religious beliefs, adoption service agencies and foster care organizations could refuse to place children in homes led by LGBTQ people and others.
On Thursday the Kansas House narrowly passed the bill by a vote of 63-58. It now heads to the desk of Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer, who must recognize the dramatic harm that the legislation could cause and put Kansas children first by vetoing the legislation.
Kasey Suffredini, president of strategy at Freedom for All Americans, said today:
“Today Kansas lawmakers voted to play politics with vulnerable kids by targeting the LGBTQ community. In the name of anti-LGBTQ bias, this dangerous legislation hurts all children by allowing child welfare agencies to turn away loving families. At a moment when nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people are advancing in states like Alaska and New Hampshire, our opponents are digging in and targeting our community where it hurts the most: LGBTQ youth in the state’s care and the ability of same-sex parents to start a family. Opponents of LGBTQ equal treatment have once again demonstrated their blatant disregard for the collateral damage caused by bills like these in Kansas and Oklahoma as they continue to advance their increasingly unpopular and mean-spirited agenda. We will not allow our hard-fought progress to be chipped away by these dangerous attacks, and we will fight back until all LGBTQ families are protected from discrimination.”
Similar legislation is surging forward in Oklahoma, headed to the desk of Governor Mary Fallin. Bills like these – narrow efforts to discriminate against LGBTQ Americans – are also in effect in seven other states: Alabama, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia.
These anti-LGBTQ laws run counter to the huge steps forward we’ve seen in just the past few weeks nationwide. On Wednesday lawmakers in New Hampshire, where Republicans control the House, Senate, and Governor’s office, passed a transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination bill prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, and public spaces. In April voters in Anchorage, Alaska overwhelmingly voted to uphold protections for transgender people. And earlier this legislative session lawmakers in Colorado and Georgia rejected adoption bills very similar to the ones moving this week in Oklahoma and Colorado.
In late 2017 the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit against the anti-LGBTQ adoption law in Michigan, and the lawsuit continues to work its way through the legal system. We cannot let these efforts to divide communities and harm children stand.