Proposed Adoption Bill Scrutinized

A Texas bill that would allow faith-based adoption agencies to refuse parents based on differing religious beliefs is up for debate in the legislature.

Parents seeking adoption could soon be turned away based on opposing religious beliefs.

The bill, authored by state Rep. James Frank will allow faith-based state-funded or private adoption agencies to reject potential candidates based on their religion, if they are single, or because of their sexual orientation.

In Rep. Frank's Facebook post, he writes that the bill "seeks to protect faith-based providers from adverse actions for exercising their deeply held religious beliefs."

He writes the "ability of many of the faith- based institutions to continue offering services is threatened"  by fear of legal action if certain services are declined based on religious beliefs.

Rena Russell is a Wichita Falls resident who supports Frank's bill.

"I think that their core values should be upheld," she said. "I believe that faith-based adoption agencies should have that leniency."

However Pastor Mel Martinez of the Wichita Falls Metropolitan Community Church feels the bill is discriminatory.

"It's another effort to try to create or to affirm some sort of subculture as dangerous," Rev. Martinez said. "There are loving couples that are wanting to provide a safe and loving permanent home to those children."

That includes, she says, same-sex couples.

"When they've already gone through the many levels of review and safety and financial stability in order to be an adopting couple in the first place," Martinez said. "To just outright reject because you don't agree with their relationship. It's unreasonable."

Pastor Mel believes children are the ones who will suffer.

"They don't deserve to be the focus of political or preferential ideology."

Frank disagrees, though, saying if an adoption agency denies service because of differing beliefs, another agency will step in.

To read the bill for yourself click here.


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