A federal bill introduced Monday would penalize states with anti-gay adoption laws, gay weekly the Washington Blade reported.

Congressman Pete Stark's Every Child Deserves a Family Act would deny funding to states that ban gay, lesbian, transgender and unmarried people from adoption or foster programs.

“Despite the shortage of adoptive and foster parents and the terrible consequences of long stays in the child welfare system, some states have enacted discriminatory bans prohibiting children from being placed with qualified parents due to the parent's marital status or sexual orientation,” Stark said on the House floor.

“When considering a potential placement for a child, the only criteria should be what is in the child's best interest and whether the prospective parents can provide a safe and nurturing home,” the California Democrat said. “Bigotry should play no part in this decision.”

Florida is the only state that bans gay people from adoption outright.

Other states have enacted laws that exclude gay couples in roundabout ways, including several that forbid unmarried couples from adoption in states that outlaw gay marriage.

While relatively few states have enacted anti-gay adoption legislation, the bill cites an Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute study which found that one-third of U.S. child welfare agencies reject gay applicants.

The legislation would allow people who have been discriminated against to sue in federal court. And the bill would penalize states with discriminatory laws by withholding Social Security funds at the discretion of the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The bill is headed to the House Ways & Means subcommittee but no hearings have been scheduled.