Lawmakers in Kansas on Friday approved a bill that would allow faith-based adoption and foster care agencies to refuse to place children with gay and lesbian couples, and Republican Governor Jeff Colyer has said he'll sign the bill into law.

The Republican-controlled Legislature approved SB 284 by a vote of 24-16 in the Senate and 63-58 in the House, which had rejected the bill in March.

The bill would force the Kansas Department for Children and Families to include foster and adoption agencies, including those that receive public funds, in its programs even if they refuse to place children with gay people.

Colyer said in a statement that he looks forward to signing the measure.

“Catholic Charities and other adoption agencies are key to the fabric of our communities,” Colyer said. “I look forward to signing this bill because it increases the opportunities for needy children to find loving homes.”

Supporters of such bills argue that protecting religiously affiliated agencies would increase the number of child placements.

Gina Meier-Hummel, who leads the Kansas Department for Children and Families, previously indicated her support for the measure and promised that her agency will not discriminate.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, called the bill a “license to discriminate.”

“To be clear: SB 284 is a ‘license to discriminate’ that targets youth, first and foremost,” said JoDee Winterhof, senior vice president of policy and political affairs at HRC. “This insidious bill will make it harder for kids to find qualified loving homes and it could be used to discriminate against LGBTQ Kansans. Business leaders, child welfare advocates, faith leaders and ordinary Kansans have all spoken out against this bill because they understand that needless, discriminatory bills only serve to harm Kansans and the reputation of the Sunflower State.”

Opponents of the bill have promised to mount a legal challenge.

A similar bill was approved Thursday by lawmakers in Oklahoma. Republican Governor Mary Fallin has not said whether she will sign the bill.