Religion

What Other Devilry is the Texas Legislature Up To?

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Fresh off their vote to approve a "papers please" racial profiling law, the Texas state legislature is advancing a bill that legalizes discrimination.

The Texas House has approved a bill that will allow Christian adoption agencies to discriminate against all non-Christian applicants, meaning virtually everyone from Jews and Muslims to LGBT individuals could be turned away.

The private organizations, which are paid by the state to place foster children with adoptive families, want to continue the practice and are seeking legal protections through Texas’ “Freedom to Serve Children Act,” which the GOP-controlled chamber approved 94-51 late Tuesday night.

A final vote will be needed Wednesday to send the measure to the state Senate, which is even more conservative.

Legislators in South Dakota passed a similar measure, but everything is bigger in Texas so their bill is more extreme.

Proponents of the measure say it's designed to shield Christian agencies from lawsuits, but that's a misnomer because it won't stop anyone from challenging the law itself if it's signed by Governor Abbott.

If you take their intentions at face value, you could say this is a bill designed to force state taxpayers to pay for the legal defense of Christian fundies. The state will cover the cost of defending the law in court when it's inevitably challenged.

If the law is passed and survives a legal challenge, and even before it's challenged in court, I'd like to see exclusively Muslim, Jewish, and gay adoption agencies apply for state funding and see what happens. Let's see how far "freedom" really extends.

  • Badgerite

    An adoption agency is about adoption. Not the propagation of a particular religion. Jesus will they ever stop trying to use religion and children to discriminate against other people?

    • Christopher Foxx

      will they ever stop trying to use religion and children to discriminate against other people?

      2000 years and counting. Why would they stop now?

  • Aynwrong

    The GOP is devolving into a cult of bigoted revivalists exclusively devoted to chasing the bumpkin vote.

  • muselet

    The chamber’s Republican majority defeated Democratic modifications to the bill that would have required adoption agencies to document their rejection of families.

    Yes, because leaving a paper trail violates the agencies’ sincerely held religious beliefs.

    [The bill’s author James] Frank said his bill was designed to draw as many participants as possible into adoption and foster care and said those who say the bill is discriminatory misunderstand it.

    “I hope the message that gets tweeted out at the end of this is that Texas is open for anybody and everybody,” said Frank.

    First, what’s to misunderstand? The bill explicitly allows (state-funded) religious adoption agencies to discriminate against entire classes of citizens. That makes the bill, by definition, discriminatory.

    Second, Texas’s private adoption system is open for anybody and everybody. As long as prospective adopters are Christian. And married. And straight. And meet any other arbitrary requirements set by those (state-funded) religious adoption agencies.

    I expect lawsuits by the bushel-basket to be filed as soon as the bill passes the state Senate and is signed into law.

    –alopecia

  • Scopedog

    “Separation of Church and State? What’s that?”

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  • Georgie

    I’m getting a headache, the christian right doesn’t even want children to have a happy lives anymore, just fetuses…