In a recent campaign speech, the Texas senatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke attacked a Texas law that permits private adoption agencies to refuse to place children with homosexual couples. His comments, writes David Closson, highlight the important need for such legal protections:
O’Rourke’s claim was based on a 2017 state law under which faith-based adoption agencies may decline to place children with same-sex couples because of sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage and human sexuality. Significantly, the Texas law does not prevent anyone from adopting, and even mandates that if an agency cannot work with a same-sex couple, it must direct the couple to another agency that will work with them. . . .
O’Rourke’s campaign rhetoric is just the latest in a series of attacks on the religious liberty of faith-based adoption providers. Dana Nessel, the Democratic candidate running for attorney general in Michigan, recently expressed similar hostility toward the beliefs of faith-based adoption providers. When asked about the 2015 Michigan law that protects the religious liberty of faith-based adoption agencies, Nessel admitted that if she’s elected she will disregard it because she “could not justify using the state’s money defending a law whose only purpose is discriminatory animus.” . . .
Meanwhile, the ACLU is suing the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services over the 2015 law, and a Clinton-appointed federal judge ruled on September 14 that the lesbian couples represented by the ACLU could proceed. . . .
But in the face of continued challenges to the ability of faith-based adoption providers to run their ministries without fear of reprisal, federal legislation . . . is needed.