Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, a
Republican, on Friday signed a controversial bill that allows
religious child welfare organizations, including adoption and foster
care agencies, to discriminate against same-sex couples.
Senate Bill 1140 cleared the
Republican-controlled House and Senate with overwhelming support.
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.”
An amendment added in the House that
would have denied state and federal funding to any child placement
agency that discriminates was later stripped from the final bill.
Masen Davis, CEO of Freedom for All
Americans, lamented Fallin's decision to sign the bill.
“Today is a sad day for Oklahomans,”
Davis said in a statement. “Instead of looking out for the
well-being of all Oklahomans, Governor Fallin decided to discriminate
against parents and families who are ready to open their homes and
their hearts to children in the child welfare system. The Oklahoma
legislature has played politics with their state’s most vulnerable
Human rights advocates and celebrities
had called on Fallin to veto the bill.
Will & Grace stars Megan
Mullaly and Debra Messing tweeted their opposition.
“I GREW UP IN OKLAHOMA,” Mullally
wrote. “PLEASE HELP TO STOP OK GOVERNOR'S DISCRIMINATION &
Singer-actor Kristin Chenoweth tweeted:
“My beloved Oklahoma. Please no.”
Governor Jeff Colyer, a Republican, has said he'll sign a similar