Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, on Thursday signed a bill that critics say would allow state-funded or private adoption agencies to reject gay parents based on their religious objections.

Similar laws to Texas' House Bill 3859 have been passed in five other states, but Texas' law, modeled after a South Dakota law, is the first to 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 said on social media that HB 3859 “bans no one.” But speaking to the AP earlier this year, Frank said 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.”

(Related: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott calls special session to advance transgender “bathroom” bill.)