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Tennessee bill passes, allows adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples

Tennessee bill passes which allows adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples.
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Wikimedia Commons

There is a new bill headed to the desk of Tenessee's Gov. Bill Lee (R) which would ban the adoption of children to same-sex couples based on an agency's religious beliefs.

Chris Walker, the communications director for Lee's office confirmed on Tuesday that the governor will sign it. 

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Paul Rose (R) and has already passed the Senate. “This bill is solely about freedom,” he said.

Supporters agree that the measure is needed to protect an organization's religious freedom while detractors argue it is a direct attack on LGBT rights. 

Eligible couples looking to adopt would be denied if they “violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions or policies” which to some would mean same-sex couples. 

The measure would also protect faith-based agencies from being sued if they refuse a couple's request to adopt. And the state would also have to approve licenses and grants to agencies that discriminate based on religion.

This is a bill that passed the House in April 2019 and won the Senate on Tuesday with a 20-6 vote