Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, a
Republican, has signed into law an adoption bill that opponents say
discriminates against LGBT families.
The AP reported that Lee signed the
bill without fanfare.
House Bill 836 prohibits the state from
requiring adoption agencies to place a child in a home that violates
“the agency's written religious or moral convictions.”
Other states with similar laws include
Virginia, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Alabama, Michigan, Mississippi,
North Dakota, and South Dakota.
The bill, House Bill 836, cleared the
House in April. The GOP-controlled Senate overwhelmingly (20-6)
approved the bill on the first day of the 2020 legislative session
and sent it to Lee for his signature.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, which had previously called on
Lee to veto the bill, said that the law would “harm children.”
“It’s disturbing that Gov. Bill Lee
signed legislation that will harm children in Tennessee,” HRC
President Alphonso David said. “Elected officials should
protect all of their constituents, not just some. Now, Tennessee has
the shameful distinction of being the first state to pass an
anti-LGBTQ bill into law this year. This bill does nothing to improve
the outcomes for children in care, shrinks the pool of prospective
parents and is a blatant attempt to discriminate against LGBTQ