A Bill protecting the rights of Christian adoption agencies in Alabama has been signed into law.
House Bill 24 (HB24) states that adoption agencies that do not receive federal funding cannot lose their license for adhering to faith-based policies.
It was passed by the Alabama House of Representatives by 87 votes to zero, with six abstensions, and was signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey.
Helping the vulnerable
Endorsing the Bill, Gov Ivey said: “I ultimately signed House Bill 24 because it ensures hundreds of children can continue to find ‘forever homes’ through religiously-affiliated adoption agencies”.
She added that the Bill “protects the ability of religious agencies to place vulnerable children in a permanent home”.
Representative Rich Wingo, who backed HB24, said the Bill’s purpose was to make sure faith-based agencies were not at risk of closure if they made decisions based on their beliefs.
He added that he was “very thankful” that Gov Ivey had stood up for religious liberty.
HB24, or the Alabama Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act, was criticised by homosexual rights campaigners who said it discriminates and stigmatises gay couples.
Responding to these claims, Wingo and other advocates of HB24 pointed out that most adoptions in Alabama are handled by secular agencies, leaving that option available to gay couples.
Wingo said: “Same-sex couples would make it all about them. It’s not”.
Similar legislation has been passed in North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan and Virginia.