The Texas House on Tuesday tentatively
approved a bill that seeks to allow state-funded or private adoption
agencies to reject gay parents based on their religious objections.
According to The
Texas Tribune, the bill advanced on a 94-51 vote. A final
vote is needed before the legislation moves to the Senate.
Similar laws have been passed in five
other states, but Texas' proposal, modeled after a South Dakota law,
would extend to state-funded agencies.
Opponents say the bill would also allow
faith-based adoption agencies to reject applicants based on religious
affiliation or marital status.
Democrats strongly objected to the
measure introduced by Republican Representative James Frank. They
said it would give religious groups a license to discriminate against
LGBT, Jewish or divorced parents.
Frank told the AP that adoption
agencies should be free to pick like-minded parents.
“My guess is if you have an LGBT
agency, they're going to pick an LGBT family, and if you have a
Baptist agency, they may be more likely to pick a Baptist family,”
Frank said. “[They] should be free to do that.”