Adoption,Gay,Religion,United States Senate,Bill (law)

Panel OKs protections for adoption agencies that turn away gay couples

February 15, 2017

PIERRE — South Dakota lawmakers on Wednesday advanced a bill that would protect religious or faith-based foster care and adoption agencies that deny child placement to same-sex couples and single parents. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee on a 5-2 vote approved Senate Bill 149 despite opposing testimony from civil liberties advocates, gay foster parents and a representative of a national social workers group. Representatives from religious adoption and foster placement groups and spokespeople for conservative advocacy groups stood to support it, saying faith-based adoption services and foster placement agencies in the state shouldn't have to abandon their policies that restrict child placement to families that share the same religion and are in heterosexual marriages. Sen. Alan Solano, R-Rapid City, said he brought the bill to ensure that groups with "sincerely held" religious views are able to place children with traditional families or with other parents that they deem appropriate. MORE: Lawmakers say South Dakotans can concealed carry without a permit He said other states have given faith-based adoption and foster placement groups an ultimatum. If they...

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