Kansas soon won't allow kids to be adopted by LGBT parents

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Oklahoma legislators approved a measure Thursday to grant legal protections to faith-based adoption agencies that cite their religious beliefs for not placing children in LGBT homes and lawmakers in Kansas were close to passing a similar measure. The measure now goes to Governor Mary Fallin, who has not publicly indicated whether she will sign it. If signed into law, they would become the first pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation to pass a state legislature this year.

The state House of Representatives approved the bill by a 56-21 vote without discussion or debate, despite vocal objections and attempted parliamentary maneuvering from the Democratic caucus.

Supporters of such measures argued that the core issue is protecting a group's right to live out its religious faith, while critics saw them as attacks on LGBT rights.

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Kansas GOP Gov. Jeff Colyer supported his state's legislation, with his administration arguing that it would encourage faith-based groups to place more abused and neglected children in state custody.

Republican legislators in Kansas are trying to break a political stalemate over a bill granting legal protections to faith-based adoption agencies that won't place children in LGBT homes. But they fear that lawsuits or turnover among state officials could result in an environment hostile to some religious groups' views.

"If you allow people to use state dollars in accordance with their sincerely held religious beliefs, for the objective of discriminating against another religion ... based on sincerely held religious beliefs, that shreds the goal of the first amendment", Carmichael said.

Tech companies, including Amazon, Apple and Google, sent a letter to Republican lawmakers asking them to oppose the bill, concerned that passage may harm Kansas' ability to bring in and keep workers.

"Christian slaveholders used the Bible and their strongly or sincerely held religious beliefs to justify slavery", said Rep. Barbara Ballard, a Democrat from Lawrence. At one point, the presiding officer in the House threatened to have a member forcibly removed.

Texas, Alabama, South Dakota, Virginia and MI already have such laws in place. Michigan's is being challenged in court by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Catholic Charities, which was snubbed by the state of IL four years earlier due to its policy of excluding same-sex couples from adoption, threatened to also close down if SB 284 didn't pass. Supporters argue that they're religious freedom measures.

The state's two case management contractors that handle most foster care and adoption placements - now KVC Kansas and St. Francis Community Services - are excluded from the protections.

But Republican State Senator Greg Treat, who introduced the bill, told Oklahoma City TV station KFOR the language of the bill has been misconstrued.

On Friday, the Kansas Senate gave its seal of approval to Senate Bill 284, one of the nation's most discriminatory proposals targeting same-sex families. "All it does is protect faith-based institutions who wish to participate, and some are sitting on the sideline right now, and I hope to get them involved to help us take care of the huge need".

"If you're a single person, or a gay person, or a divorced person, or you're Jewish, then you better think twice before you call", Ross said. The nationwide organization operates centers in Atchison, Dodge City, Emporia, Garden City, Great Bend, Kansas City, Lawrence, Leavenworth, Olathe, Overland Park, Salina, St. Joseph, Topeka, and Wichita.

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