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Oklahoma LGBT Group Targets Christian Adoption Agencies in Ad Against Religious Freedom

Adoption papers with the message, "Welcome adoptive parents (no gays)."

On Monday, the LGBT organization Freedom Oklahoma released a video ad mocking adoption agencies that operate according to the free exercise of religion and urging voters to lobby their state senators against a religious freedom bill.

"I’m a social worker. I would rather keep a child in foster care than allow them to be adopted by parents who don’t meet my religious criteria," one actress says in the ad, suggesting that religious adoption agencies prefer children to remain without a home.

Another woman in the ad suggested that religious adoption agencies seek to force children to reject their natural sexual orientation or identity. "I work with kids who need a home. I believe if a child is gay or transgender, they should be placed with parents who will work to straighten them out," the woman says, presenting an advertisement for a military-style "boot camp" to "turn 'gay' kids straight!"

In these malicious attacks, the LGBT group twisted the truth about adoption agencies. The final scene topped off the ugly insinuations. "We have laws governing child services agencies for a reason," Christine James-Brown, president and CEO of the Child Welfare League of America, says in the ad. "When states allow adoption decisions to be based on a worker's individual beliefs, rather than the best interests of children, it's children who pay the price."

This ad cunningly twisted the real religious freedom adoption issue on its head. Across the country, LGBT activists are pushing back against Christian charities' freedom to abide by their organizations' religious commitments. These are not the private convictions of workers but stated beliefs of the organization, which inspire donors to contribute to the organization.

Many Christian adoption agencies refuse to place children with same-sex parents or in environments that reject Christian teachings, especially on sexuality. Their freedom to do this is important, because many of these agencies work directly with churches, receive funds from donors who hold to traditional morality, and publicly abide by certain principles. This LGBT push seeks to force them to violate those commitments.

In Texas, a lesbian couple sued the federal government and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops after Catholic Charities of Fort Worth refused to help them adopt a child. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster sent a letter to Miracle Hill Ministries after a state department ruled the ministry had to place children with non-Christians, in violation of its principles and longstanding practice.

The LGBT push against Christian adoption agencies traces back over a decade. In 2006, Catholic Charities of Boston had to shut its doors after Massachusetts redefined marriage and banned "sexual orientation discrimination." The charity was forced out of San Francisco that same year, and out of Washington, D.C. in 2010. Affiliates in Illinois had to close down as well.