On Tuesday, Republicans in the House of Representatives passed the Aderholt Amendment, a provision introduced by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) protecting adoption agencies from state or local discrimination on the basis of their religious beliefs. Democrats have railed against this amendment, calling it a “license to discriminate” against LGBT people.
LGBT activists have pushed laws to outlaw “discrimination” in such agencies, many of which have a religious dedication to uphold marriage as between one man and one woman. These laws force such agencies to decide between violating their religious beliefs by placing children with same-sex couples and closing down. Many have been forced to close their doors, making children suffer from LGBT activism.
Even so, Democrats railed against Republicans, suggesting that allowing a diverse array of adoption agencies to abide by their own beliefs would somehow harm children.
“Republicans’ moral bankruptcy reached a sickening new low today,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declared in a statement. “House Republicans chose to sacrifice the well-being of little children to push a bigoted, anti-LGBTQ agenda, potentially denying tens of thousands of vulnerable children the opportunity to find a loving and safe home.”
Pelosi concluded by insisting that “there is no place for bigotry or discrimination in our foster and adoption systems — or in any part of our democracy.” The Democrat leader referred to the Aderholt Amendment as “the GOP License to Discriminate Amendment.”
This statement proved telling on many levels. First, the Aderholt Amendment actually forbids discrimination.
“The Federal Government, and any State or local government that receives Federal funding for any program that provides child welfare services, shall not discriminate or take an adverse action against a child welfare service provider on the basis that the provider has declined or will decline to provide, facilitate, or refer for a child welfare service that conflicts with, or under circumstances that conflict with, the provider’s sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions,” the amendment states.
This amendment explicitly forbids discrimination against adoption agencies. It upholds their freedom to place children with families according to their “sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions.” In fact, the amendment states that if any state or locality engages in this discrimination, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should withhold 15 percent of the federal funds that the state or local government receives for child welfare services.
So why do Democrats claim this is a “license to discriminate”? They attack the amendment because it allows adoption agencies to refuse to place children with same-sex couples on religious grounds. Importantly, while there are many religious adoption agencies, they are far from the only game in town. If a same-sex couple wishes to adopt a child, they can go to other agencies.
If a local or state law forces a religious adoption agency to violate its conscience, however, that agency has little to no recourse.
In 2006, Catholic Charities of Boston decided to shut its doors after Massachusetts redefined marriage and banned “sexual orientation discrimination.” Later that year, Catholic Charities was also forced out of San Francisco, Calif. In 2010, Washington, D.C. told Catholic Charities it could no longer be an eligible foster care and adoption partner due to its support for traditional marriage and its policy of placing children with a mom and a dad. Affiliates in Illinois had to close down as well.
Notice what this means: The LGBT agenda has made it harder for needy children to find families in Massachusetts, San Francisco, Illinois, and even the nation’s capital. It’s not supporters of religious freedom that “sacrifice the well-being of children to push a bigoted, anti-LGBTQ agenda,” but rather LGBT activists sacrificing the well-being of children for their agenda.
Defending his amendment, Rep. Aderholt said it addresses “two serious problems.”
“First, the current opioid epidemic has caused the number of children in foster care across America to skyrocket,” he noted. “Secondly, several states and localities across the country are not allowing religious organizations, such as Catholic Charities and Bethany Christian Services, to operate child welfare agencies. The reason for this is simply because these organizations, based on religious conviction, choose not to place children with same-sex couples.”
Aderholt argued that his amendment would “encourage states to include all experienced and licensed child welfare agencies so that children are placed in caring, loving homes where they can thrive. We need more support for these families and children in crisis, not less.”
An Aderholt spokesman, Brian Rell, pointed out that the amendment does not exclude same-sex couples from adoption, but pressures states and local governments to include as many providers as possible.
“If you have religious beliefs that preclude you from placing [a child] in a same-sex home, then you’re not precluded from participating in the process,” he told NBC News. “If you are a same-sex couple, you can go to a different agency and adopt there.”
Various Democrats attacked the bill, however, arguing that children in need of adoption or foster care should have fewer options, because allowing religious adoption agencies to abide by their consciences constitutes a “license to discriminate.”
“The Aderholt Amendment gives child welfare providers a license to discriminate against LGBT families who want to foster or adopt. I oppose this horrible amendment,” tweeted Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.).
— Nita Lowey (@NitaLowey) July 24, 2018
“The Aderholt Amendment is a thinly veiled License to Discriminate,” tweeted Rep. Al Lawson Jr. (R-Fla.). “The amendment would allow child welfare organizations to discriminate against LGBT people, denying loving homes for children who need them most. RT if you oppose this hateful amendment.”
The #AderholtAmendment is a thinly veiled #LicenseToDiscriminate. The amendment would allow child welfare organizations to discriminate against #LGBT people, denying loving homes for children who need them most. RT if you oppose this hateful amendment
— US Rep. Al Lawson Jr (@RepAlLawsonJr) July 24, 2018
“The Aderholt Amendment would allow taxpayer-funded child welfare organizations to discriminate against LGBTQ children and prospective foster or adoptive efforts,” tweeted Rep. Dany Heck (D-Wash.). “I pledge to do everything I can to stop this thinly veiled license to discriminate.”
The #AderholtAmendment would allow taxpayer-funded child welfare organizations to discriminate against #LGBTQ children and prospective foster or adoptive parents. I pledge to do everything I can to stop this thinly veiled #LicenseToDiscriminate. pic.twitter.com/pITZ2sGQ2y
— Denny Heck (@RepDennyHeck) July 24, 2018
“Hundreds of thousands of children in our foster care system are waiting for a forever family — the Aderholt Amendment discriminates against LGBTQ couples and robs these children of a chance for a loving home,” tweeted Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.). “This license to discriminate isn’t right or left — it’s just wrong.”
Hundreds of thousands of children in our foster care system are waiting for a forever family – the #AderholtAmendment discriminates against #LGBTQ couples and robs these children of a chance for a loving home. This #LicensetoDiscriminate isn’t right or left – it’s just wrong. pic.twitter.com/eZcKkaQBFM
— Rep. Charlie Crist (@RepCharlieCrist) July 24, 2018
Other Democrats also joined in, including Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.).
Taxpayer money should never subsidize discrimination. We must do everything we can to stop the #AderholtAmendment, which allows taxpayer-funded agencies to deny services and discriminate against #LGBTQ children and prospective foster or adoptive parents. #LicenseToDiscriminate pic.twitter.com/j8YJbcfRhw
— Rep. Ted Lieu (@RepTedLieu) July 24, 2018
Democrat golden boy Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) also joined in.
— Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@RepJoeKennedy) July 24, 2018
Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), chair of the Democratic Women’s Working Group, tweeted a bald-face lie about the amendment. “It’s appalling that the Aderholt Amendment labels potential foster parents unfit to provide care&support [sic] for children simply b/c of their religion, race, sexual orientation or gender identity. This is nothing more than a blatant, unlawful license to discriminate!”
It’s appalling that the #AderholtAmendment labels potential foster parents unfit to provide care&support for children simply b/c of their religion, race, sexual orientation or gender identity. This is nothing more than a blatant, unlawful #LicenseToDiscriminate! pic.twitter.com/uUd4o6A0Hq
— Rep. Lois Frankel (@RepLoisFrankel) July 24, 2018
Tragically, so many Democrats seem to believe that cutting down the options for adoption and foster care agencies will lead to more children in more happy homes. The reverse is true. If the government actively favors one belief over another and exiles adoption agencies that disagree, children in need will have fewer agencies available to help them find homes.
Americans should take note of the Democrats opposing the Aderholt Amendment and choosing LGBT ideology over more options for children in need. Despite Democrats’ loud attacks against this “license to discriminate,” they are vehemently supporting government’s ability to discriminate against adoption agencies based on their religious beliefs.
Even more despicable, they are openly joining a movement that has deprived needy children in Massachusetts, San Francisco, Illinois, and Washington, D.C. Any Democrat who puts LGBT activism over the needs of these kids should lose his or her re-election in November.