The Oklahoma Senate on Tuesday
overwhelmingly approved a bill that would allow religious child
welfare organizations, including adoption and foster care agencies,
to discriminate against same-sex couples.
According to the Tulsa
World, Senate Bill 1140 cleared the Senate on a 35-9 vote.
It now heads to the House.
The bill states: “To the extent
allowed by federal law, no private child placing agency shall be
required to perform, assist, counsel, recommend, consent to, refer,
or participate in any placement of a child for foster care or
adoption when the proposed placement would violate the agency’s
written religious or moral convictions or policies.”
The bill's author, Senate Majority
Floor Leader Greg Treat, a Republican from Oklahoma City, said that
his legislation would increase the number of adoptions in Oklahoma
because it would expand the number of faith-based organizations
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, called on the House to reject
“Bills such as SB 1140 are a clear
attempt to solve a ‘problem’ that simply doesn’t exist while
enshrining anti-LGBTQ discrimination into law,” said Marty Rouse,
national field director for HRC. “If lawmakers in Oklahoma truly
wanted to help find permanent homes for the children in the child
welfare system, they wouldn’t be focusing on narrowing the pool of
potential parents, which only hurts those kids. HRC calls on the
Oklahoma House to reject this needless, harmful bill.”
similar bill cleared the Georgia Senate last month.