Oklahoma and Kansas Lead the Way in Freedom to Exercise Faith

faith

LGBT activists have been fond of saying that same-sex marriage would never affect you. Well, now, it’s not only affecting you — it’s affecting needy kids.

Across the country, Christian charities and adoption services have been bracing themselves against wave after wave of attack from liberals, desperate to kick them out of the child welfare industry. As far as these extremists are concerned, no organization — including an explicitly religious one — should be allowed to operate if they hold a biblical view of marriage. In places like Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Massachusetts, their crusade has gone so far as to close down one of the largest child placement services in the area — Catholic Charities — because it refused to compromise its core beliefs.

Fortunately, in some states, the bullying is prompting a counter-attack from common sense lawmakers, who think it’s well within a charity’s right to decide which homes are the best and most loving options for children. In Oklahoma, the state legislature followed in the suit of at least five other states, sending a measure to Gov. Mary Fallin’s (R) desk that would give religious groups the freedom to exercise their faith in their placement policies. Democrats were so irate during the debate that the presiding officer threatened to have one member removed.

In nearby Kansas, legislators acted hours later, passing their version of the “Child Welfare Inclusion Act” 63-58 in the House and 24-15 in the Senate early this morning. “This is a matter of activist groups who don’t like certain religious beliefs and they want to use the power of the government to crush people that operate according to those religious beliefs,” said Michael Schuttloffel, the director of the Kansas Catholic Conference. With, as the AP points out, an already overloaded foster care system, the state can’t afford to lose a single provider – let alone one of Kansas’s biggest.

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Governor Jeff Coyler (R) must have agreed, promising to make the bill law. “Catholic Charities and other adoption agencies are key to the fabric of our communities. I look forward to signing this bill because it increases the opportunities for needy children to find loving homes.” Hopefully, his counterpart in Oklahoma will follow suit, recognizing that liberal activists are more concerned with pushing their intolerant agenda than they are with finding children good homes.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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