Controversial Adoption Bill Passes Through Oklahoma House, Senate
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma - Oklahoman’s For Equality is calling the passage of a controversial adoption bill a "deeply disappointing and a disgusting direction to take our state."
The group, along with 'Freedom Oklahoma', is calling for Governor Fallin to veto the bill that allows adoption agencies to refuse service to couples on religious grounds.
House Democrats took a stand against the bill, literally standing and shouting and refusing to sit down as House Republican leaders moved forward with the bill.
It boils down to the rights of the religious to practice their beliefs versus the rights of non-traditional families to adopt or foster.
Senate Bill 1140 will allow state money to be used to help fund adoptions and foster care for agencies that have a religious or moral objection to some parents.
"You do not have to compromise your faiths, beliefs in order to do that. The government is not it's will and say you can no longer practice your religion freely," said Majority Floor Leader Senator Greg Treat.
"To be clear that is the purpose of this bill. Is to restrict and discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation in their ability to adopt from certain agencies," said Senator Michael Brooks.
"Make no mistake. This bill does not deny the right of a same-sex couple to adopt children," said Senator Treat.
Opponents say the bill allows adoption agencies to discriminate based on their deeply held religious or moral beliefs. They say it allows tax dollars to be used for hate.
"It's not for hatred. It's not for discrimination. Quite the opposite. It's to keep churches and faith-based organizations from being discriminated against," said Senator Treat.
"This is government money and if we don't want them or the government in our churches we shouldn't be funding these entities if we don't want the government there," said Representative Kevin Matthews.
Freedom Oklahoma said if the governor doesn't veto the bill they will take the state to court.