Just in time for Mother’s Day, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin just signed a law that states that child-placement agencies can choose who adopts or fosters a child based on the agencies, “written religious or moral convictions.” In other words, perfectly wonderful gay adoptive parents in the state of Oklahoma now face an uphill battle if they want to adopt a child there, and the state just made it perfectly legal to do so.
And the reason that the Governor gave for allowing this thing through is as baffling as it is abhorrent – diversity. Once again, with members of the GOP, the cognitive dissonance is almost palpable.
Today, I signed Senate Bill 1140, which allows faith-based agencies that contract with Oklahoma to continue to operate in accordance with their beliefs. https://t.co/298rcyq3Mg
— Governor Mary Fallin (@GovMaryFallin) May 11, 2018
Fallin said in a statement that:
“SB 1140 allows faith-based agencies that contract with Oklahoma to continue to operate in accordance with their beliefs. In a day and time when diversity is becoming a core value to society because it will lead to more options, we should recognize its value for serving Oklahoma also because it leads to more options for loving homes to serve Oklahoma children.”
This is categorically false. This bill will serve to cut the number of people who can adopt babies. Pretending otherwise sets a dangerous precedent, and will just keep more kids stuck in the system.
Activist groups, as well as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), have stepped in. And they aren’t going down without a fight.
Sharon Bishop-Baldwin, Oklahomans for Equality’s vice-president, said:
“The idea that bigotry trumps decency is really reprehensible. I am horribly disappointed in Governor Fallin tonight.”
Posted by Oklahomans for Equality on Friday, May 11, 2018
Oklahomans for equality released the above video. And the ACLU released a statement of its own.
Allie Shinn, ACLU of Oklahoma’s External Affairs Director, said:
“We are disappointed, though frankly unsurprised, that the Governor chose today to continue the Legislature’s game of using children and LGBT Oklahomans as pawns in cruel political games. SB 1140 is discriminatory, anti-family, anti-children, and anti-First Amendment. Rather than stand up to religious fanaticism, the Governor has chosen to reinforce the delusions of those who confuse discrimination with liberty.”
‘STATE SANCTIONED HATE’
Troy Stevenson, executive director of Freedom Oklahoma, said that children who are desperately looking for homes in the state would certainly be harmed by this “state-sanctioned hate,” then he added, “we’ll see you in court.”
According to statistics from Oklahoma Foster’s, right now in the state, there are 9,6000 children in state custody. Every day, there are over 3oo children legally available and looking for homes. The majority of them are under twelve years of age.
Instead of doing everything in their power to help those babies find those homes, however, Fallin passed a law that will make it even more difficult.
Not a very happy Mother’s Day at all for many people in one mid-west state this week.
The bill passed, mostly along party lines, in the Republican-controlled House (56-21) and Senate (33-7). Under Republicans, that whole line that’s supposed to exist between government and religion gets muddier and muddier every single day.
Featured Image via YouTube Video.