14:13, July 27 47 0

2018-07-27 14:13:06

 

Civil rights & child welfare groups gear up to fight attempts to legalize bans on gay adoption

The nation’s civil rights organizations, religious groups, and child welfare organizations are going to war over the Republican proposal to allow adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBT people.

More than 200 of them joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in a letter to members of Congress yesterday opposing legislation that would authorize discrimination in the child welfare system.

“Taxpayer dollars should not be used to discriminate and no family should be told they are not qualified to serve as foster or adoptive parents because they are LGBT or the ‘wrong’ religion by a taxpayer-funded provider,” the groups write.

“Moreover, because the amendment conflicts with other federal laws including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in federally funded programs, it could open the door to discrimination against children and prospective families on the basis of race and national origin by taxpayer-funded agencies.”

The Aderholt amendment to the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill for FY 2019 would allow child welfare agencies receiving taxpayer funds to choose which families and children to serve, privileging the beliefs of providers over the best interests of children who are in state care.

If adopted, the Aderholt amendment would exacerbate an already dire crisis in the nation’s child welfare system.

The United States has nearly 440,000 children in foster care, more than 117,000 of whom are waiting to be adopted.

Each year, less than half of those are adopted into permanent placements, and tens of thousands age out of the foster care system before they can find an adoptive family.

Not only would the Aderholt amendment severely decrease the already limited pool of eligible families, but it also would put the 46 states and the District of Columbia who enforce non-discrimination laws in jeopardy of losing 15 percent of their federal funding for child welfare services – amounting to a loss of more than $1 billion for the system.

Federal judges have already indicated these provisions would likely be found unconstitutional, should they be challenged in court.

“It is despicable that elected officials would place ideology over family,” said Ian Thompson, senior legislative representative at the ACLU. “Every child deserves the opportunity to grow up in a supportive, loving home.”

Thompson added, “The Aderholt amendment would harm some of the most vulnerable children in our country – those who are in state care do to abuse and neglect at home.”

The coalition letter distributed yesterday makes it clear that it’s “unacceptable to place the beliefs of providers over the best interests of children,” Thompson said.

SIGNATORIES INCLUDE:

National OrganizationsAfrican American Ministers In Action American Association of University Women American Atheists American Conference of Cantors American Federation of Teachers American Humanist Association Americans United for Separation of Church and State American Unity Fund Anti-Defamation League Atticus Circle AIDS United American Civil Liberties Union American Psychological Association Athlete Ally Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty The Bassuk Center on Homeless and Vulnerable Children & Youth Bend the Arc Jewish Action Center for American Progress Center for Children’s Law and Policy Center for Children & Youth Justice Center for Inquiry Center for Public Interest Law Center for Social Innovation CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers Ceres Policy Research Children’s Advocacy Institute Children’s Defense Fund Children’s Rights Child Welfare League of America COLAGE DignityUSA Disciples Justice Action Network Equality Federation Faith in Public Life Family Values @ Work Family Equality Council FORGE, Inc. Foster Care to Success FosterClub Freedom for All Americans Global Justice Institute Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. Harm Reduction Coalition Hispanic Federation Human Rights Campaign Human Rights Watch Keshet Impact Fund Interfaith Alliance Intersections International Juvenile Law Center Lambda Legal Log Cabin Republicans Men of Reform Judaism Methodist Federation For Social Action Metropolitan Community Churches Movement Advancement Project NAACP NARAL Pro-Choice America National Adoption Center National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) National Association of County and City Health Officials National Association of Social Workers National Black Justice Coalition National Center for Lesbian Rights National Center for Transgender Equality National Center on Adoption and Permanency National Coalition for the Homeless National Council of Jewish Women National Crittenton National Education Association National Equality Action Team (NEAT) National Health Law Program National Juvenile Justice Network National LGBT Chamber of Commerce National LGBT Task Force Action Fund National Network of Abortion Funds National Network for Youth National Organization for Women National Women’s Law Center Nebraska Appleseed New Ways Ministry North American Council on Adoptable Children Partnership For America’s Children People For the American Way PFLAG National Planned Parenthood Federation of America Population Connection Action Fund Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Religious Institute RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association SAGE SchoolHouse Connection Secular Coalition for America Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) SisterLove, Inc. SparkAction The Trevor Project Transgender Law Center True Colors Fund Union for Reform Judaism United Church of Christ, Justice and Local Church Ministries Unitarian Universalist Association URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity Uri L’Tzedek Voices for Progress Witness to Mass Incarceration Women of Reform Judaism Youth Law Center

State and Local OrganizationsAlabama AIDS Alabama AIDS Alabama South, LLC Equality Alabama Rainbow Mobile

ArizonaChildren’s Action Alliance (Arizona)

CaliforniaChildren’s Law Center of California County Welfare Directors Association of California The Diversity Center Equality California Family Builders by Adoption Los Angeles LGBT Center LYRIC North County LGBT Resource Center Resource Center for Nonviolence Sacramento LGBT Community Center San Gabriel Valley LGBT Center The Spahr Center The Source LGBT+ Center

ConnecticutConnecticut Alliance of Foster and Adoptive Families Connecticut Voices for Children Hispanic Federation – Connecticut True Colors, Inc. Sexual Minority Youth and Family Services of Connecticut

ColoradoGLBT Community Center of Colorado Inside Out Youth Services One Colorado

FloridaEquality Florida Hispanic Federation – Florida Pridelines Safe Schools South Florida

GeorgiaGeorgia Equality Georgia Safe Schools Coalition TRANScending Barriers Trans(forming)

IllinoisCenter on Halsted Equality Illinois

KansasChildren’s Alliance of Kansas Kansas Appleseed

KentuckyLouisville Youth Group Inc.

LouisianaLouisiana Trans Advocates

MaineEqualityMaine Maine Children’s Alliance Maine Women’s Lobby

MarylandFreeState Justice GLCCB – Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in Baltimore, MD Public Justice Center

MassachusettsChild and Family Services, New Bedford Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action MassEquality

MichiganGrand Rapids Pride Center OutCenter of Southwest Michigan

MinnesotaGender Justice

MissouriOutFront Kalamazoo PROMO

MontanaKynexions Youth Dynamics

NebraskaVoices for Children in Nebraska

NevadaGay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada Purple W.I.N.G.S. Organization

New JerseyNew Jersey Parents Caucus, Inc The Pride Center of New Jersey, Inc.

New Mexico Equality New Mexico

New YorkAdoptive and Foster Family Coalition of New York The Children’s Agenda Dignity Buffalo Fairness Alliance and Information Resources of New York, Inc. Hamptons LGBT Center LGBT Network (Long Island/Queens) Long Island LGBT Community Center Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth Pride Center of the Capital Region Queens LGBT Community Center Services and Advocacy for LGBT Elders – Long Island (SAGE-LI)

North CarolinaEquality North Carolina Youth OUTright, WNC

OhioEquality Ohio LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland

PennsylvaniaBradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center Equality Pennsylvania Women’s Law Project

Rhode IslandAdoption Rhode Island

South CarolinaSC Equality South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center

South DakotaEquality South Dakota

TennesseeCCYS OUTMemphis Tennessee Equality Project Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth

TexasDFW Foster Parent Association Equality Texas Resource Center Texas Freedom Network

WashingtonGay City: Seattle’s LGBT Center Legal Voice

WisconsinOur Lives Magazine Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce

District of ColumbiaWhitman-Walker Health


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