Tennessee joins trend of states passing anti-LGBTQ+ adoption laws
Tennessee is expected to soon become the latest state to allow faith-based adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ+ families while still receiving taxpayer funding.
The GOP-controlled state Senate passed the controversial measure on Jan. 15, and Gov. Bill Lee said the same day he would sign it into law. The bill is similar to ones passed in numerous other states that protect faith-based agencies that choose to reject LGBTQ+ families from adopting a child in their care because of their beliefs.
These laws are part of a national movement by conservative Christian activists who want to “bring back God to America.”
To LGBTQ+ activists, though, such laws are only hurting children who need homes.
“The foster care system is at a critical juncture where it is required by new federal law to reduce the number of children placed in harmful group homes and to expand family home options for children who cannot safely return to their family of origin,” Currey Cook, counsel and director of Lambda Legal, told the Associated Press.
“Children who need more homes, not fewer, should not suffer as part of efforts to chip away at equality for LGBTQ families,” Currey said.
Gov. Lee is facing mounting pressure from the business community and local elected officials to veto the bill.
On Jan. 21, the Metro Council, the governing body for Nashville and Davidson County, said the new law would be “detrimental.”
“We’d like to send a message to residents and respective businesses that Tennessee is a welcoming state, and this would be detrimental to the Metro Government of Nashville and Davidson County,” a council member said, according to WKRN.com.
Amazon is planning to bring 5,000 jobs to Nashville and told CNBC it does not support the legislation.
“We have a long history of supporting equality and we’re opposed to laws that discriminate or encourage discrimination,” Amazon said in a statement.