(San Francisco, CA, April 9, 2015)—Yesterday, the Florida Senate voted down a bill (HB 7111) that would have given adoption agencies in the state a license to discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender parents. Nevertheless, similar bills are still pending in Michigan and Alabama. These laws would even prevent an aunt from adopting her niece if the child’s mother passed away just because the aunt happened to be a lesbian.
“We applaud the Florida Senate for recognizing that this bill would have hurt the thousands of children in need of adoptive homes in Florida by taking away thousands of potential adoptive parents,” said National Center for Lesbian Rights Family Law Director Cathy Sakimura. “We hope that the legislatures in Michigan and Alabama, who are considering similar bills, will also recognize that these ill-conceived laws will only harm children and families.”
The pending bills in Michigan and Alabama would authorize state-licensed adoption agencies to refuse to place children with prospective adoptive parents who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. These laws are so broad that they would also allow the adoption agencies to discriminate against any parents based on their religion, or any other characteristic that offends the religious beliefs of the agencies.
The Alabama’s bill goes even farther, also allowing state-licensed daycare providers and other providers of any family or children’s services to discriminate against parents and deny them services.