House Panel Passes Measure Protecting Faith-Based Adoption Agencies

Democrat leaders are denouncing a House committee-passed bill that would prevent state and local authorities from discriminating against faith-based adoption and foster care agencies.

On July 11, the House Appropriations Committee passed the Aderholt Amendment, introduced by Rep. Robert B. Aderholt (R-Ala.). It says that any government receiving federal funds for child welfare services may not punish faith-based adoption agencies (such as Bethany Christian Services) simply because of their religious beliefs.

The amendment, which is now part of the FY 2019 budget proposal for the Departments of Labor, Education and Health and Human Services, passed in a 29 to 23 vote, with all Democrats and one Republican ( Scott Taylor –VA) voting no.

Democrats forcefully and vocally argue that faith-based agencies refusing to place children with same-sex couples be shut out, which has been happening all over the country. Catholic Charities’ adoption agencies in Massachusetts, Chicago, San Francisco and the District of Columbia, for instance, went out of business rather than be forced to place children in homosexual households. This left hundreds of thousands of orphans in foster care instead of being placed with mother-and-father families.
Florida Rep. Charlie Crist (D) tweeted, “The Aderholt Amendment discriminates against LGBTQ couples and robs these children of a chance for a loving home.”

No, it doesn’t. It gives the children a chance to have a mother and father, which research, common sense and the Bible tell us is the optimal environment for children. The bill also allows the agencies to decide whether or not to place children in single or non-Christian households or with parents with a history of divorce. Contrary to hysterical media reporting, it has nothing to say about agencies that place children in other types of households.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi exclaimed, “House Republicans chose to sacrifice the well-being of little children to push a bigoted, anti-LGBTQ agenda, potentially denying tens of thousands of vulnerable children the opportunity to find a loving and safe home.”

The bill should be called “the GOP License to Discriminate Amendment,” she said, getting it exactly backwards. The Aderholt Amendment actually forbids discrimination and adds agencies back to the list of providers.

In addition to the Aderholt Amendment, the 176-page House Bill 6470, the “Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019,” provides $177 billion in funding and contains several other pro-life and pro-family provisions:

  • Re-enactment of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal tax dollars to fund abortions;
  • The Hyde-Weldon Amendment, which bars governments from discriminating against doctors or health care providers who will not perform abortions;
  • The Conscience Protection Act, which would make the Hyde-Weldon Amendment permanent. Right now, both Hyde and Hyde-Weldon must be renewed each budget cycle.
  • No money for Title X, under which Planned Parenthood has received nearly half a billion dollars annually.

The Senate version, S 5138, contains no amendments, and the final draft will be determined by House-Senate conferees.

The Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation and other conservative groups are urging constituents to contact their Congress members and senators and ask them to keep the Aderholt Amendment and the other pro-life provisions in the final legislation.

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A writer for Timothy Partners, Ltd. He is a regular weekly columnist for The Washington Times and Townhall.com and is frequently published by AmericanThinker.com, DailyCaller.com, OneNewsNow.com, and others. His latest book is “A Strong Constitution: What Would America Look Like If We Followed the Law” (D. James Kennedy Ministries, 2018).