By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, May 3, 2017, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) signed House Bill 24 into law. HB24, sponsored by State Representative Rich Wingo (R-Tuscaloosa) protects the religious liberties of faith-based adoption agencies. The bill protects the rights of the faith based organizations that they can not be forced to place children in homes that are living a lifestyle which the faith based group finds morally objectionable in some way.
Specifically prospective gay parents claim that the bill would allow the faith based groups to discriminate against them.
Gov. Ivey said in a statement, “I ultimately signed House Bill 24 because it ensures hundreds of children can continue to find forever homes through religiously-affiliated adoption agencies. This bill is not about discrimination, but instead protects the ability of religious agencies to place vulnerable children in a permanent home.”
Rep. Wingo told reporters that he does not know whether gay parents are as good as heterosexual parents or not. “I don’t know that.” What this bill does do is protect religious liberty.
The bill, the Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act, would strip state agencies of the power to refuse to license faith based agencies if they refuse to place children with homosexuals.
Wingo said that the state of Massachusetts has forced the Catholic Church out of doing adoptions by forcing them to place children in same sex households if they want to continue to do adoptions.
The Human Rights Campaign Alabama State Director Eva Kendrick said in a statement, “Plain and simple — HB24 is discrimination dressed up as a ‘solution’ to a fake problem.”
Kendrick said, “It creates an unnecessary hardship for potential LGBTQ adoptive or foster parents in Alabama and primarily harms the children looking for a loving home. It’s unfortunate that leaders continue to push this bill, even as child welfare organizations, faith leaders and fair-minded Alabamians are standing up and calling this bill out for what it is: discrimination. We now ask Governor Kay Ivey to not sign into law this harmful bill.”
Opponents claim that the measure is openly discriminatory against homosexuals.
Supporters however say that the bill protects religious liberties and those freedoms were what this country was built on.
There was a lot of pressure on Ivey from groups outside of the State to veto HB24, even though the bill had enormous support in the legislature.