NASHVILLE, Tennessee, January 16, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee says he will sign legislation protecting the right of adoption agencies in the state to place children only in homes with both a mother and a father, over the objections of LGBT activists and fears of backlash harbored by some Republicans.
The bill would ensure that licensed adoption agencies cannot be forced to make child placement decisions that “violate the agency's written religious or moral convictions or policies,” and cannot be sued, denied public funds, or be rejected for license applications on the basis of such a decision. It passed the state Senate this week and the House last year.
Lee spokesman Chris Walker confirmed late Tuesday that the governor intends to sign the bill into law, NBC News reported. Lee previously declined to comment on its passage (having not yet read it).
The news of Lee’s support alleviates brief concern that the bill might ultimately fall to Republican fears of LGBT-orchestrated economic boycotts of the state. Several Republicans voted “present” rather than for or against the bill, with GOP Lt. Gov. Randy McNally voicing reservations and GOP state Sen. Steve Dickerson suggesting that if it becomes law “we can probably kiss (hosting various national sporting events) goodbye.”
Tennessee “needs all hands on deck when it comes to providing loving homes for children in need,” said Republican bill sponsor Sen. Paul Rose in defense of the measure. “SB 1304 simply makes sure that these agencies can continue to do this vital work just as they do today, consistent with their religious convictions. Tennessee should welcome everyone who is dedicated to helping vulnerable children, including the many faith-based agencies that play such a crucial role in serving our most vulnerable children.”
A variety of social science literature supports the conviction that children are best served by homes with both a mother and a father, whereas a homosexual male couple would by definition lack a mother, and a lesbian couple would be unable to provide a father.
The adoption measure is one of six bills state lawmakers have introduced over the past year to protect religious liberty and conscience rights against the LGBT agenda, which national figures including singer Taylor Swift have attacked as a “slate of hate.” The other bills forbid local governments from penalizing businesses for their health insurance and anti-discrimination policies; increase punishment for indecent exposure in bathrooms and dressing rooms; require the state to defend schools from lawsuits over their refusal to admit gender-confused boys into girls’ restrooms (and vice versa); and declare as “void” any court decision forcing recognition of same-sex “marriage.”