Alabama signs law allowing adoption agencies to refuse gay couples

Alabama signs law allowing adoption agencies to refuse gay couples
Source: AP
Source: AP

Republican Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill allowing adoption agencies throughout the state to reject gay couples looking to adopt a child, and, more generally, reject any applying parents who conflict with their stated religious beliefs, AL.com reported Wednesday.

The law disallows the state from "refusing to license or renew the license" of any adoption agencies which cite religious beliefs when refusing child placements. While it does not actually prevent gay couples or other LGBTQ individuals from adopting a child in the state, it does protect faith-based groups from retaliation for discriminating against them when choosing prospecting parents.

"The elected legislature of this state overwhelmingly approved House Bill 24," Ivey said, according to AL.com. "Having served as president of the Senate for more than six years, I appreciate the work of the legislature, and I agree with it on the importance of protecting religious liberty in Alabama."

"I ultimately signed House Bill 24 because it ensures hundreds of children can continue to find 'forever homes' through religiously-affiliated adoption agencies," she added. "This bill is not about discrimination, but instead protects the ability of religious agencies to place vulnerable children in a permanent home."

Ivey is the replacement for former Gov. Robert Bentley, who resigned amid looming impeachment hearings over alleged abuse of campaign finances and violating state ethics laws.

While advocates said the intent of the bill was merely to shield religious groups which operate adoption services from shutting down, the bills calls to mind other "religious freedom" bills critics have denounced as thinly-veiled attempts to legalize anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

"This bill obviously came about because same-sex marriage was approved," state Rep. Patricia Todd said, per AL.com. "It's based in a stereotype, and it's wrong. And we shouldn't discriminate and I will always fight that."

"We are deeply disappointed that the legislature and the governor took on this unnecessary, discriminatory bill instead of focusing on how to improve the lives of all Alabamians, no matter who they are or whom they love," Human Rights Campaign Alabama state director Eva Kendrick told the Associated Press.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Bill Cosby to appear in court for alleged 1974 assault of 15-year-old girl

Cosby will appear in court on July 30, 2018 for allegedly forcing a teen girl to perform oral sex on him over 40 years ago.

Nearly 850 backlogged rape kits were found infested with mold in Texas

The mold-infested rape kits don't appear to have contaminated the DNA samples inside, according to authorities.

Season 11 of 'The X-Files' will be written entirely by men

Only six women have ever written for the beloved sci-fi show, which boasts over 200 episodes and spawned two feature-length films.

Does nursing require a "woman’s touch"? These male nurses say no.

Christian Martin and Dan Douglas are two men working as nurses — and it's mostly NBD.

The GOP health care bill's one-year ban on Planned Parenthood is a bigger problem than you think

Compared to the millions who will lose coverage, restricting federal funds for just 365 days doesn't seem that bad. But it is.

There's a new effort to recall Judge Aaron Perksy, who sentenced Brock Turner

If voters in Persky's county collect enough signatures, the judge could be on the chopping block in 2018.

Bill Cosby to appear in court for alleged 1974 assault of 15-year-old girl

Cosby will appear in court on July 30, 2018 for allegedly forcing a teen girl to perform oral sex on him over 40 years ago.

Nearly 850 backlogged rape kits were found infested with mold in Texas

The mold-infested rape kits don't appear to have contaminated the DNA samples inside, according to authorities.

Season 11 of 'The X-Files' will be written entirely by men

Only six women have ever written for the beloved sci-fi show, which boasts over 200 episodes and spawned two feature-length films.

Does nursing require a "woman’s touch"? These male nurses say no.

Christian Martin and Dan Douglas are two men working as nurses — and it's mostly NBD.

The GOP health care bill's one-year ban on Planned Parenthood is a bigger problem than you think

Compared to the millions who will lose coverage, restricting federal funds for just 365 days doesn't seem that bad. But it is.

There's a new effort to recall Judge Aaron Perksy, who sentenced Brock Turner

If voters in Persky's county collect enough signatures, the judge could be on the chopping block in 2018.