The Georgia Senate passed a bill on Friday that would prevent the state from forcing faith-based agencies to violate their religious beliefs.
Senate Bill 375 further states that “child-placing agencies have the right to provide services in accordance with the agency’s sincerely held religious beliefs. It basically means the state law needs to protect church-based entities that may choose not to adopt children to same-sex couples.”
The Senate passed the bill by a 35-19 vote, the votes taking place along party lines. Republicans were for it led by William Ligon while Democrats were against it. The bill now heads to the Georgia House.
Opponents of the bill say that it would allow legal discrimination against gay couples. Its critics dubbed it as the “religious liberties” bill.
As the Georgia Senate argued, a half-dozen members of the House of Representatives stood in the Senate chamber and watched - many of them gay or lesbian.
Opponents have also threatened that the bill could have a negative effect on Georgia’s economy, especially for its film industry. The group Georgia Equality said that there may be businesses who would not want to come to a state “that is not going to be open and welcome and wanting to do business with all the people.”
Proponents of the bill deny the critics’ claim that the bill will legalize discrimination. Georgia Baptist Mission Board who favors the bill said they think faith-based agencies deserve to have the constitutional protection that they need to carry out their mission statement.
Currently, there are 14,000 children in their foster care system across the state, and supporters of the bill believe if it passes, more faith-based agencies would be encouraged to open in Georgia, placing more kids with families.
[tw_tags] #religiousfreedom #FirstAmendment #adoption #gaycouples #samesexmarriage #MAGA [/tw_tags]