On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment that, if implemented, would allow adoption agencies to legally discriminate against same-sex couples because of their religious or moral beliefs.
The amendment — proposed by GOP Representative Robert Aderholt of Alabama — would allow such organizations to decline to “provide a service that conflicts with its sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions.”
Aderholt released the following statement obtained by CNN:
“The reason for this is simply because these organizations, based on religious conviction, choose not to place children with same-sex couples… The amendment I introduced seeks to prevent these (state) governments from discriminating against child welfare providers on the basis that the provider declines to provide a service that conflicts with its sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions.”
Additionally, the provision would allow more religious organizations to operate child welfare agencies.
The amendment would also require the US Department of Health and Human Services to withhold 15% of the federal funds for child welfare services from states and localities that don’t meet the criteria for protecting religious adoption groups.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the amendment a “disgusting, deeply immoral and profoundly offensive effort,” adding:
“House Republicans chose to sacrifice the well-being of little children to push a bigoted, anti-LGBTQ agenda, potentially denying tens of thousands of vulnerable children the opportunity to find a loving and safe home.”
The vote for the amendment was 29-23, with Representative Scott Taylor of Virginia being the only Republican to vote against it (he’s also a former Navy SEAL so extra love for him).
In addition to the LGBT community, interfaith couples, single parents, and married couples with a previously divorced spouse could also be affected.
The office of House Speaker Paul Ryan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
[Image via Wheatley/WENN.]