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Oklahoma bill supports religious objections to same-sex adoptions

Kansas state Reps. Brenda Landwehr, left, R-Wichita, and Troy Waymaster, right, R-Bunker Hill, confer ahead of the House's approval of a bill adding millions of new dollars to the state budget, Thursday, May 3, 2018, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Landwehr is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Waymaster is its chairman. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Oklahoma legislators approved a measure to grant legal protections to faith-based adoption agencies that cite their religious beliefs for not placing children in LGBT homes and Republicans in Kansas were pushing a similar measure.

The Oklahoma House’s 56-21 vote sent its measure on Thursday (May 3) to Republican Gov. Mary Fallin, who has not said whether she would sign it. It’s similar to laws in at least five other states.

In Kansas, negotiators for the state House and Senate drafted a new version of a bill that would prevent the state from barring agencies from providing foster care or adoption services if they refuse to place children in homes violating their “sincerely held” religious beliefs. The Senate passed an earlier version in March, only to see it stall in the House.

Supporters of such measures argue that the core issue is protecting a group’s right to live out its religious faith, while critics see them as attacks on LGBT rights.

In Kansas, supporters hoped both legislative chambers could vote on the new version of the bill Thursday (May 3), with the House going first. GOP Gov. Jeff Colyer’s supports it, with his administration arguing that it would encourage faith-based groups to place more abused and neglected children in state custody.

Backers of the Kansas bill acknowledged that faith-based agencies have been operating in Kansas for decades without issue. But they fear that lawsuits or turnover among state officials could result in an environment hostile to some religious groups’ views.

“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 Kansas Catholic Conference director Michael Schuttloffel said.

LGBT-rights advocates argue that enacting such a law would sanction discrimination and support it with taxpayer dollars. TechNet, representing some of the biggest names in tech, including Apple and Google, sent a letter to lawmakers in both states opposing their measures.

“This vampire just won’t die,” said Kansas state Sen. David Haley, a Kansas City Democrat.

The Oklahoma bill cleared the GOP-controlled Legislature over the boisterous objections of Democrats. At one point, the chamber’s presiding officer threatened to have a member forcibly removed.

Texas, Alabama, South Dakota, Virginia and Michigan already have such laws in place. Michigan’s ACLU chapter took the state to court last year over its adoption law, and the case is still ongoing.

In 2011, Illinois declined to renew its state contract with Catholic Charities adoption services due to its policy of refusing child placement to same-sex couples. Catholic Charities has also stopped handling adoptions in Washington D.C., Massachusetts and San Francisco over concerns they would be required to act against their religious beliefs.

In Kansas, both sides of the debate agree that the state’s foster care system is overloaded. The number of kids in need of homes has grown every year since 2008, from 5,711 to 7,540 as of March, according to the Department of Children and Families.

Supporters said that passing the measure could encourage groups providing limited services for the state or doing only private adoptions to work more with the state. Colyer’s administration has said some out-of-state agencies could be attracted to Kansas.

In Oklahoma, sponsoring state Sen. Greg Treat, an Oklahoma City Republican, said he believes his measure will help get more children into loving homes.

“I believe this bill aids and gets more people involved in the system,” he said.

But critics like Lori Ross, president of Foster Adopt Connect, a child placement agency operating in Kansas and Missouri, contend the real problem is a lack of available families.

Ross said for LGBT families looking to adopt, it isn’t always obvious which agencies will work with them and which won’t, she said. If they make that first phone call and get denied, they may never try and adopt again.

“If you’re a single person, or a gay person, or a divorced person, or you’re Jewish, then you better think twice before you call,” Ross said.
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Also contributing were Sean Murphy in Oklahoma City, and John Hanna in Topeka, Kansas.

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  • Does anyone know what’s happened to the numbers of adoptions in Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco since they drove out Catholic Charities? I’m guessing that those numbers aren’t good or SJW’s would be pointing at them when making their usual assaults on others’ freedoms — which would mean those SJW’s would rather see fewer children adopted than have private adoption agencies operating by rules they don’t approve of.

  • CC voluntarily dropped out of placement services because of the “leftist agendas.” If they were that good, they would have continued not placing the 300K children still there.

  • CC wasn’t who chose to pass regulations that made it impossible for them to continue to help facilitate adoptions while keeping to the standards they felt their religion required. I can believe that the first time that happened the SJW’s thought CC was bluffing, but those after have no excuse. So again, unless someone can demonstrate that those laws didn’t reduce the number of adoptions I’ll have to believe that for SJW advancing their totalitarian vision of society is more important than getting orphans adopted into loving homes.

  • Interesting that Catholic Charities preferred malice and discrimination over doing right by people. They can get bent. Your care for children awaiting adoption is evidently not as important as attacking others under religious excuses.

  • Yes they chose to bow out of government subsidy rather than avoid discrimination. Nothing stopped them from continuing adoption services as private entities as they have done long before this. There is not a single honest assertion in your posts. Your concern for adoption evidently is not as important as trying to keep some couples from adopting.

  • So glad OK lawmakers found enough free time for this discriminatory bullcrap in the middle of their state melting down fiscally and the massive teacher walkout.

    This is a state which couldn’t even afford to have public school teachers working five days a week.

    They decided to appease Bible thumping bigots rather than do their job.

  • The lack of “availability of adoptive families” is in great part caused by too much control and restrictions from the Department of Children and Families in many states which tries to control everything rendering quasi impossible for churches to have any action in which was once practically the exclusive job of churches: the care of children in orphanages and institutions as well as in families know by the church for their goodness and ability to care for children.
    Also it is important to analyze that people erroneously criticizes the old system of orphanages because, if true in some cases it was poorly done, in many cases was done so well that even today some of those children, today adults, keep a warm memory of those who cared for them. Furthermore, it is also true that the Department also some times does that job poorly, and even abusively, when children are moved from house to house 10 and 15 times in a period of 7 or 8 years. That does to children MUCH more damage than an orphanage where the child grows having other kids, the same every day, to know and live around for many years and even then as a grown ups. That establishes between such children a relationship comparable to that of siblings, and that is much better than passing through so many ‘foster parents and foster siblings’ that after a while the child doesn’t remember any and is all messed up in what regards to attachments and trust since the child feels that nobody cares, nobody loves and nobody fulfill the promise to stay by you always.

  • So glad you found enough free time to level some unsupported charges of “discriminatory bullcrap”, tout public school teachers, and take a surly shot at Christians.

  • They dropped out because they could not participate and not simultaneously violate their religious beliefs.

  • There is relatively little private entity adoption service provided anywhere.

    Becoming a very expensive adoption agency on the fringes has nothing at all to do with their purpose for getting into the process in the first place.

  • Interesting that you characterize acting according to religious beliefs as “malice and discrimination”, thus revealing your malice and discrimination.

  • RESPONSE TO SPUDDIE: you are very wrong! Majority of people to not approve adoption by gays. Why should children of straight parents should be placed under the care of gays? Many times those children need care not because their parents are bad, but because the child may become orphaned by a car accident or other accidental death of parents or by illnesses like parent’s cancer, etc. Why should children of Christians be placed with people they believe live in sin and against God’s Law? That is an essential injustice against those parents and against their children. If gay people want children maybe that shows that they have chosen wrongly their “sexual orientation” because the natural way of having children is by choosing someone of the opposed sex, as God made it. If they would follow God’s Law they would have children. So simple!

  • That is a steaming load of untruth on many levels.

    Churches were never the exclusive facilitators of adoption in this country.

    The effects of orphanage care in comparison to foster care is well documented and noted by private adoption agencies. In overseas adoptions, children in orphanages frequently have greater developmental difficulties and health issues than those in foster care. Foster care is far from perfect but it has been documented as being qualitatively better in totality to warehousing children.

    The main factor in limiting adoption in this country is the assumption that goal of foster care is eventual reunification of the family. There are very few outright orphans in most systems or even children whose parents have relinquished all parental rights.

    Children available in most state systems are considered “unadoptable” due to age or disability.

    The idea that agencies using government money can discriminate in adoption is an abomination.

  • You are a bigot and a liar. Your view of God’s law doesn’t mean a thing when it comes to entitlement to government money. Using taxpayer funds to discriminate on the basis of religious belief violates legal and ethical principles unambiguously.

    “Why should children of straight parents should be placed under the care of gays?”

    Because obviously those straight parents weren’t willing to do the job and the gay couple is. Why should you turn away qualified couples to appease your personal bigotry?

    Freedom of religion means nobody ever has to he compelled to give a damn what you think God says. We don’t live in a theocracy. Our laws don’t recognize your beliefs as being more important then the rights of others.

    BTW this whole thing is just a quick appeal to prejudice to cover up the disastrous job OK republicans have done in the state. If your bigotry gets appealed to, maybe you won’t notice how the state government has failed on so many levels.

  • Oklahoma can’t pay its teachers a living wage because they’re too busy giving tax breaks to corporations and rich people. So they need a diversionary tactic because the teachers are mad, mad, mad. This is it. And yes, it is a shithole country that only tornadoes seem to like.

  • AGAIN RESPONSE TO SPUDDIE: you seem to not understand that the issue is here that some states want to force private religious agencies, like Christians in general, to place children in homosexual households. Christians should never be forced by States to do what goes against their consciences.

    Now, regarding what you said about “warehousing” children. That is wrong too. Not every orphanage is what you see in videos of some eastern countries. They are hundreds of thousands of different types of orphanage houses in the world where children live happy. Here is no place to list them, but you should inform yourself about this subject. Also you are wrong about your statement “using tax payers funds” because Catholic Charities and many other Christian groups have worked in great part with money of Catholic donors who disapprove adoption by gays. Are you going to say that people should be forced to donate for causes they do not approve? You speak of bigotry but you evidently support the idea of governing by tyranny.

  • Re: “This is a matter of activist groups who … want to use the power of the government to crush people …” said Kansas Catholic Conference director Michael Schuttloffel said.  

    “Crush”!? Really? Being “crushed” was what anti-witch crusaders in Salem, MA did to accused “witch” Giles Corey, back in 1692. Hyperbolic much?  

  • So, in other words, I pay taxes which go to support these so called Christians in their attempts deny people like me. I am donating for causes I do not approve of.

    Hypocrisy much?

  • Let’s be Accurate, Doug about what actually happened in Massachusetts. From the Boston .globe of 3/11/2006.

    CATHOLIC CHARITIES STUNS STATE, ENDS ADOPTIONS
    In a stunning turn of events, Archbishop Sean P. O’Malley and leaders of Catholic Charities of Boston announced yesterday that the agency will end its adoption work, deciding to abandon its founding mission, rather than comply with state law requiring that gays be allowed to adopt children.

    The Rev. J. Bryan Hehir, president of Catholic Charities of Boston, and Jeffrey Kaneb, chairman of the board, said that after much reflection and analysis, they could not reconcile church teaching that placement of children in gay homes is “immoral” with Massachusetts law prohibiting discrimination against gays.

    “This is a difficult and sad day for Catholic Charities,” Hehir said. “We have been doing adoptions for more than 100 years.”

    Catholic Charities of Boston began in 1903 as an adoption agency primarily serving Catholic children left by parents who died or abandoned them.

    Officials in government, social services, and gay-rights groups expressed disappointment about the decision. Catholic Charities is widely respected among adoption providers and has handled more adoptions of foster children than any other private agency in the state.

    Harry Spence, the state’s commis sioner of social services, said he was “deeply saddened” to hear of Catholic Charities’ withdrawal.

    Lee Swislow, executive director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, said the outcome was “very unfortunate.”

    Almost immediately after the announcement, Governor Mitt Romney, who was in Tennessee speaking to a Republican group, issued a statement saying he would file legislation to exempt religious organizations that provide adoption services from the state’s antidiscrimination laws.
    —————

    No one drove them out. They chose to stop letting gay people adopt because they would no longer receive state funds for adoptionse mormon agency refused state funds, and there was no issue with their refusal .

    And only in right wing land would a decision denying children a home be blamed upon the very people who wish to provide that home, while e culpating the very people who would rather see those children remain 7nadopted than let THE PEOPLE THEY DONT APPROVE OF ADOPT.

  • What a load of self serving crap.

    On the one hand, you claim that every child deserves parents that love them. But not if those parents are of the same sex.

    On the other hand, you say those children only need to hang around other kids in an orphanage and everything will be just ducky. And moved fr9m foster home to foster home instead of staying in one home.

    Sickness.

  • One man’s religious beliefs are everyone else’s bigotry. The only ones affected are the kids, but at least they will be treated equally civil & humanely as they grow into adult citizens without fear of a ghost condemning them to hell.

  • Thank you for your non-responsive comment.

    Other than establishing that you have some animus directed at religion, it provided zero light.

  • Much like if you don’t live by my malice & discrimination, you’ll burn in everlasting hell. Like that?

  • Yep, when I want fair objective balanced reporting on Catholic matters, I think first of the Boston Globe …. and head in the opposite direction.

    Consider the headline:

    “CATHOLIC CHARITIES STUNS STATE, ENDS ADOPTIONS”

    The only people stunned were people who either could not read or for some reason did not read Catholic Charities’ clear comments well before the state passed a law requiring that gays be allowed to adopt children.

    So “No one drove them out” is hogwash.

    They had to make a choice between religious belief or cooperating with something which they believe to be evil, and made the moral choice.

  • Not “Christians”.

    Anti gay, hyper conservative Christians of your sort, who would rather see a child in an agency or in a series of foster homes rather than a permanent home of people who want children and are willing to go through the trouble, expense, and commitment required to raise them.

    Not the same thing at all.

  • Every Christian who opposes your agenda and beliefs is, according to you a “(a)nti gay, hyper conservative Christian”.

    A quick look at the catechism of the largest Christian body in the USA demonstrates that to be a load of self-serving twaddle on the part of a propagandist for an agenda.

  • You left out “dishonest”.

    Freedom of religion means that those with religious beliefs should be able to participate in public service without having to tiptoe around you and your friends at Americans United.

  • Are you trying to adopt?

    I don’t think anyone can deny you.

    What they can do is let someone else place children for adoption with you.

  • So, religious beliefs = “intolerance & bigotry”.

    That’s intolerance and bigotry.

  • You had to reach back three centuries for that one.

    That tells you how relevant it was.

  • No, much like if I don’t adopt you malice and discrimination, I won’t become an individual espousing malice and discrimination like yourself.

  • The first Amendment allows people to practice their religion and to exercise Free Speech. However, similar to not being allowed to shout “Fire” in a crowded theater, you can’t use your religious freedom to impose religious restrictions to the freedoms and rights of other citizens.
    Phrased in a different way. If you think something is wrong due to your religious views, then you should ensure that YOU don’t do it!

  • Re: “Oklahoma can’t pay its teachers a living wage because they’re too busy giving tax breaks to corporations and rich people.”  

    Be careful what you wish for. My home state of Connecticut is in dire fiscal straits right now, not because they don’t tax the wealthy/businesses enough, but because the benefits they’ve promised to public employees and teachers (whose wages aren’t paid by the state, but their pensions and retirement benefits are) are so generous that we now have future liabilities in the high tens of billions of dollars.  

    Several years ago, a massive tax hike went through, followed 2 years a later by a subsequent more modest one … but revenues haven’t really gone up all that much or very consistently. Deficits still loom which are pretty close to what they were before that first enormous tax hike was enacted.  

    Having already tried ramping up revenue collections, it’s clear that’s not the answer. Not in CT anyway. States like OK may not be in much better shape, but I promise you that just ratcheting up tax rates is not the answer, either. We Nutmeggers found that out the hard way.  

  • The sickness is the lbgt propaganda that tells us that 2 men can make a “marriage” and when a guy puts on a skirt that makes him a girl. That is sick.

  • Nope. They don’t deserve our taxpayer dollars either. It violates the first and 14th amendments.

  • Yep, you are exactly the kind of frothing at the mouth hateful fool, this bill was designed for. Appeasement to your sense of bigotry, ignore mismanagement and waste. Vote for those sane fools who tanked the state economy. You are a true stooge.

  • All of us have to find a way to balance the budget sheet every month of every year, states included. Sounds like your home state (which was my home state for two years during the early eighties) needs to get its act together. Time to increase taxes on the rich! I hear there are lots of those in your state, especially down there in Fairfield County.

  • Re: “Time to increase taxes on the rich!” 

    Already been tried. Hasn’t helped. Another tactic is needed. 

    Re: “I hear there are lots of those in your state, especially down there in Fairfield County.” 

    There are, but they still have the means to shelter their income from state income taxes, or move out of state entirely. As I said, this has been tried, twice, and neither time did the expected results come in.  

  • they still have the means to shelter their income from state income taxes

    Then it sounds like certain laws need to be changed, unless of course it’s federal laws which need to be changed, which means Democrats need to get their asses out to vote in November. By the way, I liked living in Connecticut. I lived in New Haven for two years while in grad school.

  • There is no amendment that allows for the murder of babies nor for homosexual “marriage”.

  • Great. Now children can rot in the orphanages instead of getting a good, stable, loving home, just because Jesus.

  • Of course there is. I just referenced them. The final arbiter of such things and how they apply to the laws of the land did so. Their opinion is binding law. Yours is just unnecessary blathering.

  • Re: “Then it sounds like certain laws need to be changed …”

    That wouldn’t be enough, not all by itself. Changes like that would just cause the wealthy to leave the state entirely. Some have already done it.  

    Again, this is not as simple as just extracting more money from the wealthy. The state of CT already collects a ton of revenue in the form of taxes. They are not deprived of money! I also repeat, we have already increased taxes … not just on the wealthy, but on other segments, including an increase in the sales tax (which applies to everyone at every income level). None of the rate increases, in any tax, enacted since 2011 have provided the expected revenues. Not. A. Single. One. Of. Them.  

    What’s needed is to reform how CT’s money is spent. The problem is that no one in state government is willing to do that. Among our issues is that most of the legislature’s leadership has “day jobs” working for public-employee unions; the House Speaker is a lobbyist for AFSCME (IIRC). If you think for one moment that any of those people is going to reduce wages or benefits for state employees or for teachers, you’re insane.  

    What I had originally been getting at is the old adage that one needs to be careful what one wishes for, because getting it might not turn out as well as one thought. As I explained, CT has been generous to teachers and other public employees. Far more than most other states. What that has done is to create liabilities which are now unsustainable, so high that ratcheting up tax rates is no longer enough to help overcome them.  

    That’s just how it is. I wish it weren’t true, but it is. I even blogged about CT’s dire condition last year, in a blog post (which is admittedly off-topic for my blog). What I said then more or less remains the case now, as the current legislative session winds down (having fixed exactly nothing that’s wrong with the state).  

  • Oklahoma?

    Is something on the agenda from your crowd having to do with that state?

    Something you wanted to tell us about?

  • Just a correction. There are no orphanages anymore in the US. Its the foster care system for parentless children.

  • You are too spineless to reply to my posts directly. Oh well. I guess its much easier to lie for the Lord if the other person isn’t looking.

    Nobody is forcing those adoption agencies to do anything. They are always free to go about their business as private adoption services as they have always done. What they don’t ever get to do is use taxpayer money if the purpose is to deliberately exclude fellow taxpayers on the basis of their bigotry (religious belief, same thing here).

    As for orphanages, it is telling that counselors for private adoption services all describe the condition of children in their care, regardless of the country as “troublesome” and fraught with developmental issues. Especially in comparison to those in foster care abroad. Your assertions are without merit and contradicted directly by all those in adoption services both private and public, religious and secular. You are lying here in an obvious way.

    ” Are you going to say that people should be forced to donate for causes they do not approve?”

    You are dishonestly framing the issue. You and the OK legislators are saying that people should be COMPELLED BY LAW to do so. They should subsidize their own discrimination according to you.

    ” You speak of bigotry but you evidently support the idea of governing by tyranny.”

    You are not being oppressed for having to follow rules as a condition to taking government money. If you want caesar’s coin, you follow caesar’s rules. Christian fundamentalists always want to disregard rules and laws and have others to pay for their efforts.

    IF YOU WANT TO DISCRIMINATE, USE YOUR OWN MONEY. YOUR GOD DOES NOT REQUIRE MY TAX DOLLARS EVER.

  • THIRD RESPONSE TO SPUDDIE who said: “You are not being oppressed for having to follow rules as a condition to taking government money.”
    First: I have NEVER taken government money. So a laugh there to your comment.
    Second: Are you saying that people should follow rules that are contrary to God’s Laws? All your arguments since the beginning of the comments show that you hate Christians and the rules of Christianity. Your statements are an implicit denial of the enormous charitable works of the Catholic Church and of Christians in general, which you probably would love to subdue by force so they do what is against their conscience. I guess for you the world should be: “freedom to pick and speak only to Spuddie and those who think alike”.
    It is funny how homosexuals are a minority that want to impose their views to everyone else but are always claiming to be victims. Guess what? To me were victims those cake makers who lost their businesses because they refused to bake a cake. What about freedom for them? They were fined more than they ever made, because of the supposed victims of society who instead of picking another bakery chose to ruin the Christian bakers’ lives.
    Just tell me who is the oppressed in these cases? Clearly the bakers as it was oppressed the ‘Catholic Charities’ which was forced to abandon the adoptive placement of many children of Catholics.

  • Previous RNS articles on this topic have indicated that neutral professionals in the adoption field are divided on the question of whether there’s going to be an increase or decrease in adoptions based on this legal question.

  • The Oklahoma government is trying to enforce one religion’s rules on all residents of Oklahoma. That is never acceptable in a Constitution-driven nation. Christianity’s rules apply ONLY to Christians.

  • Spineless lying bigot has a third post that he was afraid to put in reply to me.

    First: You support religious groups taking public money and violating laws involved with doing so. Those religious groups were always able to perform adoptions as private entities and still do. What they can’t and under no circumstances should do is take taxpayer money to do so.

    Second: I never have to give a flying —- what you think God’s law says. That is the great thing about religious freedom. You are free to believe whatever you want and I am free never to be forced to care or abide by it. Your view of God’s law also does not matter for anything involving entitlement to government funding or compliance with the laws of the land. You want to discriminate against gays in your organization, you are free to do so, provided you are not breaking various laws or taking government money to do so.

    As for “cakes”, if one wants to discriminate in who they do business with, they can go through closed commerce. Doing business by word of mouth, membership, limited advertising to select venues. But once you open to the general public, you have a responsibility to serve the general public. If you don’t like the class of people patronizing your business, tough luck. That is the price to be paid for doing business that way. Those people who went out of business because they were too uncivil to treat customers like human beings deserved it. Anyone defending such actions is a scumbag looking to excuse discriminatory hateful behavior. No different in any sense from a segregationist.

    Being a Christian to you means never feeling the need to follow rules, laws, or obligations and forcing others to do as you demand. Your beliefs are singularly useless crap unworthy of even the slightest respect.

    You are not a victim or being oppressed because you cannot receive TAXPAYER SUPPORT to attack others under the guise of your religion.

    As I said, you want to coerce people under color of law to pay for your desire to attack people in a discriminatory and hateful manner. There is nothing moral, reasonable or legal about doing so.

  • You have made at least two errors. First, a Gallup poll in 2012 indicated that 61% of Americans favored allowing gays and lesbians to adopt. That was up from 54% in 2009. It was also a little less than three years before gay marriage was legalized nationwide. Care to wager a guess as to where your “majority” numbers are now?
    Second, not all children of gay couples are agency-adopted. I know of several couples whose children are the biological issue of one spouse.

  • “THIRD RESPONSE TO SPUDDIE…” – are you new to the Internet? Do you not understand how comment sections work? You appear to be more interested in grandstanding than rational argument.

  • “Supporters of such measures argue that the core issue is protecting a group’s right to live out its religious faith.”

    It is one thing for a group to live their own lives based on their religious beliefs. But it is another when they impose those beliefs on others, limit the ability of others to live their own lives based on their own religious beliefs. And that is what these legislators are doing when they limit the ability of LGBT families to adopt children based solely on the fact that it is a LGBT family.

    I would suggest that LGBT people have an equal right to live out their own religious beliefs, not as a group, but one by one, family by family.

    This act by the states is limiting individual freedom and allowing a group belief to affect those who are not part of that belief. The spotlight needs to shine equally on LGBT people as it does on those of particular religious beliefs. With these kinds of laws, it does not. It shines a light only on the rights of the religious group.

  • Umm, you got it backwards. Established, reputable, secular adoption agencies that say gay adoptions are cool, THEY are already safe. That’s not the problem here.

    The adoption agencies that are at risk of getting bullied, beat up, and put out of business, are the established, reputable Faith-Based adoption agencies like Catholic Charities. The Gay Religion can’t stand freedom and can’t stand competition, so they want to impose their dictatorship on the faith-based. groups.

    So Oklahoma and Kansas are merely trying to insure a little fairness for everybody, that’s all. Level playing field for all adoption agencies.

  • I know where YOU live . . . among
    Fundies Inflicting Lethal Theological Hogwash
    aimed at gay people and others.

  • Nobody is bothering religious adoption agencies either. They are free to operate in whatever way they want. They just can’t do it on the taxpayer dime if they want to be discriminatory.

    This is one of many instances where Christian Fundamentalists feel entitled to other people’s money by force. There is this feeling of demanding money from the public but with none of the obligations that doing so entails. They want to be a law unto themselves. Christian privilege in its most money grubbing and obnoxious form.

  • Sorry, but the state governments — even liberal Massachusetts — were openly and fully partnering with faith-based adoption agencies like CC, way back when gay marriage wasn’t even on anybody’s table.

    The faith-based groups weren’t doing gay adoptions, (for very clear reasons) yet they were NOT considered bigoted and NOT discriminatory.

    Why are they NOT bigoted nor discriminatory? Because there is something inherent and vital, something indispensable, that ONLY opposite-sex folks can offer to kids.

    A Fact of life, and even a few gays agree.

  • But gay marriage is not only on the table, but the law of the land. So they had a choice of either continuing to take state money and abide by the laws and rules associated with doing so, or going their own way and handle adoptions privately. They chose a malicious scorched earth tactic of bowing out of government subsidy and providing private adoption services. They are not martyrs, they are narrow minded self-centered hateful scum.

    The only ones to blame for their inability to act as adoption facilitators are their own leadership.

    The idea that government forced them to do so is complete and utter fiction. So far conservatives here have been lying like cheap rugs on the issue pretending these agencies are being forced into doing anything.

    “The faith-based groups weren’t doing gay adoptions, (for very clear
    reasons) yet they were NOT considered bigoted and NOT discriminatory.”

    Actually they were, but they could get away with it more easily given the lack of nationwide legal consensus on gay rights and the ability to adopt.

    You are wrong about that as well.

    An actual and well documented fact of life, unlike your self-serving fiction of a declaration, is that these Christian adoption agencies want taxpayer subsidy to discriminate against taxpayers. Your whole narrative is a lie as there are no obstacles from these groups facilitating adoptions as private entities. There is no necessity to government subsidy here.

  • Without knowing what it is, we’ll just have to consider that vacant chest-beating.

  • The idea that the government can force people to violate their consciences by bribing them with money is an abomination.

  • The issue, of course, is not whether people favor or disfavor gays and lesbians adopting.

    The support for the 18th amendment was overwhelming.

    The question is what are the risks and benefits, which at this point are basically unknown.

  • It is not clear that any freedom and rights are infringed by allowing those who will not facilitate LBGT adoptions to perform adopt services.

    At this point the states still have the final say.

    Phrased in a different way, if you think a religion has views which are wrong, don’t join it!

  • I am not saying that religious people should ever be forced to do something that violates a fundamental principle of their beliefs. What I am saying is that religious beliefs cannot be used as the basis of depriving OTHER people of their rights if those rights are established under the laws and Constitution of the States and the country.

  • Since there is no right to adopt, it appears your statement is irrelevant to this law.

  • So what principles ARE applied to allow a couple to adopt? You are not making that clear. I am not a lawyer, but I am not aware that religious principles are remotely relevant to adoption. For example, a heterosexual atheist couple are perfectly entitled to adopt. NO?

  • “they could not reconcile church teaching that placement of children in gay homes is “immoral” with Massachusetts law prohibiting discrimination against gays.”
    There is nothing in Catholic teaching that says anything at all about placement of children in gay homes.
    I think placement of children near Catholic clerics seems to be a bigger concern!

  • First, we need to define who has what rights.

    There is no Federal right to adopt under either the Constitution or the case law.

    That places it squarely with the states, in these case Kansas and Oklahoma.

    Here are Oklahoma organizations who describe the adoption process:

    https://www.deaconessadoption.org/how-to-adopt-a-child-in-oklahoma/

    https://www.adoptuskids.org/adoption-and-foster-care/how-to-adopt-and-foster/state-information/oklahoma

    https://www.adoptex.org/learn-about-us/locations/oklahoma/

    and here is the Oklahoma state website:

    http://www.okdhs.org/services/adopt/Pages/default.aspx

    The requirements include a 27 hour course, fingerprinting, background checks, a home study, and medical examinations.

    The primary contact is with a social worker, but additional requirements may be imposed.

    By odd coincidence a young couple in their mid-30s that I know are in the process in Oklahoma.

    He is a physician earning in the mid-six figures, she is a human resource specialist earning in the high-five figures.

    He reports that the process is intensive, extensive, and grueling.

  • That is not the case.

    Since Catholic teaching is that same sex attraction is intrinsically disordered, and that acting on it is objectively seriously sinful, placing a child in LBGT home would be putting the child in moral danger.

    If the rate of abuse were the criterion, the placement of children with public school teachers, Protestant ministers, and Orthdodox rabbis would of greater concern than Catholic clerics.

  • CC in Massachusetts was forced to drop out. Didn’t have a legal choice. Gay Goliath gave them no choice. No measures to provide the slightest religious freedom for them. Their hands were tied.

    But now, there’s a new Prez in town. Somebody with a working knowledge of, umm, The Bill of Rights.

    Obergefell and the Democrats, don’t get to repeal The Bill of Rights. Trump is simply doing what should have been done 1000 years ago. Support religious freedom.

  • Bull blanking crap.

    CC wasn’t forced to do anything.

    They didn’t like the rules of the game so they took their ball home in a hissy fit. Nothing stopped them from doing what every religious based adoption organization does and work in private realm for major profit. As they had done for decades without government subsidy.

    Your narrative is fiction. Martyrbaition and pretense. Pretending to be a victim instead of owning up to the reality of acting badly. They wanted government subsidy to attack people and whine when not allowed. What nonsense!

    You don’t want religious freedom. You despise what it really entails. It means respecting the lu Ed of others. Something you cannot abide by. You want special privilege over others on the basis of your faith.

    You are q fool.who let’s himself get grifted on empty impossible promises. So hateful you would vote for the most vile and corrupt people just for a privilege to attack others. That is pathetic.

  • A level playing field would be these heterosupremacist groups dropping their bigoted policies.

  • Nobody forced them. They decided to quit accepting funding given the conditions it required.

  • assumes facts not in evidence. “SJWs” snigger. Post like this are wholly made of hannityesqye buzzword bingo.

  • It depends on the religious beliefs themselves. Right-wing fundamentalist/extreme Catholic chauvenists, Ultra-Orthodox Jews, right-wing Talibanesque Muslims, et al are bigots as a matter of their ideologies.

  • Yeah, we’re still unsure what Cugnot’s invention of the automobile in 1769 will mean, too.

  • In the state where I live, anti-gay legislation is non-existent. Such discrimination is not tolerated.

  • Actually, there is a “fact in evidence” — the silence on the part of those seeking to impose their own orthodoxy on church-run institutions on the impact their imposition would have.

  • I can understand how driving church organizations out of the adoption field might reduce the number of adoptions. I can understand the argument that there might not be a decrease because other private organizations and/or state governments would pick up the slack. What I don’t understand is how driving private organizations out of the field would INCREASE the number of adoptions. Regardless, don’t you think it would be a good idea to find out before acting?

  • No, a religious individual or group refusing to act in ways that violate their religion is NOT an imposition of their beliefs on others. Exercising your religion is not restricted to merely attending religious services. What IS an imposition on others is to tell them that they must act in a way that violates their religion or face punishment. There are times that such imposition is warranted, as has been repeatedly pointed out no right is absolute. But don’t ignore what it is.

    As for this case, I would say since the likely result of driving religious organizations out of the adoption field is to DECREASE the number of children adopted into (hopefully) loving homes, the obvious goal of those seeking to do so is to impose their own orthodoxy on society regardless of the harm they inflict on the children. And imposing orthodoxy is precisely what the 1st Amendment was intended to prevent.

  • Love is precisely why CC seeks to place children in loving homes, and love is precisely why CC refuses to place children in homes it considers harmful if not fatal to the children’s spiritual destiny.

  • Thank you for providing backing for my position — the state of Massachusetts chose to impose its own orthodoxy on Catholic Charities, CC chose to cease to perform the function it had carried out better than any other private organization in the state rather than accept the orthodoxy opposed, state officials expressed amazement that anyone would reject the orthodoxy they sought to impose.

    Just to be clear, I do not agree with the Catholic Church on whether gay people should be allowed to adopt, Mormon doctrine and theology differs radically from that of the Catholic Church’s. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize that Catholic Charities is seeking to do its best for the children it is serving according to its own understanding.

  • Gallup polls aren’t reliable. You saw what happened with their results on the last election. People do not always respond to those polls which numbers at the end of the story are just the result of a few people responding, not the majority.
    Everybody knows that some of their children use one of the persons of the homosexual couple, but for greatest their efforts may become, in NONE of their cases their children are biologically of both because God doesn’t bless homosexual couples with such reward that is given ONLY to those who follows God’s Laws for creation.

  • Here is a big question:

    Why do Christian Fundamentalist bigots always feel entitled to other people’s money for their agenda?

    -They want tax money for religious indoctrination that excludes fellow taxpayers

    -Discriminatory college groups want student activity fees for groups which exclude fellow students

    -They want taxpayer subsidy for discrimination in adoption services

    -They want government resources to go towards displays of their sectarian faith

    ALL OF WHICH CAN BE DONE PRIVATELY WITHOUT ANYONE ELSE’S MONEY

  • Short answer is that they are taking government money voluntarily, so they have to follow government rules to do so.

    Once one willingly accents government subsidy, they are bound by laws and rules to qualify for entitlement. If religious principles are allegedly at odds here, they can simply choose to act without government support.

    The Bible thumping bigots here want all the benefit of government support and none of the obligations.

  • If they don’t want terms and conditions dictated to them he government, then don’t take government money. It is simple as that. Nobody forces them to do anything here. They don’t require government subsidy to operate.

    You are full of it here.

  • “It is one thing for a group to live their own lives based on their religious beliefs. But it is another when they impose those beliefs on others, limit the ability of others to live their own lives based on their own religious beliefs.”

    Which, of course, is precisely what the Kansas and Oklahoma laws aim to prevent.

    Neither law “limit(s) the ability of LGBT families to adopt children based solely on the fact that it is a LGBT family.”

    It does mean that an LGBT “family” may not find every single adoption agency in the respective states suitable to their purposes.

    These laws aim specifically at preventing “…. limiting individual freedom and allowing a group belief to affect those who are not part of that belief.”

    In this case, it they prevent believers in LGBT adoption from forcing those who disagree them out of participating in public service.

  • I certainly did not provide the backing you claim. The church could have discriminated all it wished to, but it wanted state money and the right to discriminate. The church was fine for quite some time about allowing gay people to adopt, but didn’t like it when they couldn’t get state money.

  • You need to reread your own quoted article. It states that Catholic Charities “will end its adoption work, deciding to abandon its founding mission, rather than comply with state law requiring that gays be allowed to adopt children.” There isn’t a single word about funding in your entire quote. That decision must have been particularly difficult for CC, since it primarily serves “Catholic children left by parents who died or abandoned them.”

  • There are other news stories besides that one. I just happened to have that one easily available.

  • If you are going to assert that Catholic Charities would have been able to continue under Massachusetts law to perform adoption services while refusing to place children with gays, then you should use a source that backs up your assertion.

  • No, what the Kansas and Oklahoma laws provide is that religious groups do impose their beliefs on others. They make decisions about how others outside of their own group are treated. They do this in market places when they refuse to bake cakes for gay marriages or rent a space for a gay wedding. They do it when they refuse to consider a gay couple for adoption – they impose limits not only on the gay couple but also on the child, limiting the child’s chance to be adopted.

    I would not have a problem if the religious groups only required people of their own religious faith to live by the rules of that faith. But when they are sanctioned by the state to require others to live by their rules they have given the religious belief precedence over the rights of citizens to participate in the public market places or to secure benefits (adoption) that is otherwise available to others.

    There is not a good answer to this one but we should not support laws that not both allow discrimination against a particular minority for wanting the same things that others in the majority want – access to goods and services, weddings, a family, fair treatment in jobs. We do more damage to the fabric of society when we do that.

  • It does when it limits the ability of a minority to participate as equal citizens in the public market places. It is not more correct to discriminate against a gay person regarding their wedding than it is to discriminate against a person who is not white.

    The idea of licensing adoption agencies to deny adoption services to a minority faces the same problem – if this were discrimination against non-whites, it would not be allowed. It is the responsibility of government to provide adoption services. If religious groups cannot provide services to all equally, they should not be licensed by the state. Licensing these groups is a way of endorsing a particular religious belief – especially since that “endorsement” is focused on one minority group – LGBT people.

    I feel the same about employers of a particular religious belief limiting health insurance coverage to those they hire based on the religious belief of the owner of the business. This is another form of serfdom of the working class. I think Hobby Lobby was the wrong decision. But, the real problem is the way we have focused health insurance through employers – we need to get away from that so people are not dependent on employers. But that is definitely another problem.

  • No, neither the Kansas nor the Oklahoma laws impose any beliefs on anyone.

    LBGT couples have a wide range of agencies both public and private in both states, and the children and the states can use all the help they can get to facilitate adoptions.

    In both states no LBGT couple in his or her right minds goes to the Catholic adoption agency. In neither state is an LBGT couple denied adoption.

    No, you do not have your facts in order.

    While saying “we should not support laws that …. allow discrimination against a particular minority”, you advocate laws that mandate discrimination against religious minorities.

    As in Zubik v. Burwell, Geneva College v. Burwell, East Texas Baptist University v. Burwell, Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged v. Burwell, Southern Nazarene University v. Burwell, Priests for Life v. Burwell, and Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington v. Burwell you appear to be willing to kneecap religious rights to compel those with sincerely held religious beliefs to kneel at the altar of this, that, or the other right you think trumps their beliefs.

    We permit conscientious objectors to perform other service rather than kill.

    In that same spirit we should permit those with religious beliefs to serve the community without compelling them to violate those beliefs.

  • Except, of course, employers of a particular religious belief never limited employee health insurance
    coverage based on the religious belief of the owner
    of the business.

    In both the Hobby Lobby case and in Zubik v. Burwell, Geneva College v. Burwell, East Texas Baptist University v. Burwell, Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged v. Burwell, Southern Nazarene University v. Burwell, Priests for Life v. Burwell, and Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington v. Burwell the government is providing the additional insurance for contraception with zero involvement of those with religious beliefs.

    The case was contrived from the beginning simply to establish a precedent for those who share your belief that religious beliefs belong in mosque, church, synagogue, or temple, not in the public square.

  • And how did Catholic Charities limit ‘the ability of a minority to participate as equal citizens’? Were there no other adoption agencies that gay couples could turn to? Is there a single case of a gay couple in Massachusetts that was unable to adopt because of CC’s standards? Not that I have heard of. No, the only gay couples that might not have been harmed were those seeking to adopt after the state forced CC to shut down its own service, and so reduced the available adoption services overall. And the only ones limited in ‘the ability of a minority to participate as equal citizens’ were those denied their constitutionally protected right to freely exercise their religion.

  • Since the money involved is taxpayer money, and most of the taxpayers are members of one or another religion, it would appear they feel entitled to their own money.

    The solution, then, is to cut taxes to free up their money so that moneygrubbers who want to cut them out of public life can go do what they want privately with anyone else’s money.

    That will address all of your “points”, and you and your anti-religious friends can go do your own thing.

  • Neither the 1st nor the 14th amendments support abortion.

    Read Roe v Wade again.

  • An easier solution is for the government to cease attaching inappropriate conditions to money.

    Even easier is for the government to stop taking people’s money so they can spend it as they wish.

  • So, you’re pointing the problem being ridiculous conditions being put on government spending to satisfy you and your friends.

  • Seeks and falls far short, far too often. Better miserable, abusive straights than loving gays, huh?

  • .
    Of course, adoption agencies should be free to practice their sincerely held religious beliefs.

    But they should receive no local, state or federal government funding if they engage in unconstitutional discrimination of any kind. (Of course.)

    Follow the money.
    .

  • .
    CC needs to either stop discriminating or stop sucking the government’s teat.

    They cannot have it both ways. (And they have plenty of financial resources of their own to go it alone, if they so chose. You know — out of love.)

    Edit PS: Plus, CC has the name recognition in the adoption biz that they would not need government referrals.
    .

  • Ever notice how a Christian fundamentalist’s version of conscience always involves attacking others or avoiding personal responsibility. There is never a sense of being willing to sacrifice for their ideals or the courage to face personal discomfort out of faith.

    Such gutless wonders.

  • It would have been nice if the Little Sisters had agreed to sign that piece of paper so that the employees of their “business” could make their own choices of conscience – and not been limited by the religious beliefs of the employer. That provision was an honest attempt to make it possible for individuals who work for a religious groups to be free. You, obviously, think their serfdom is just fine.

  • Oh, and did African Americans have a wide range of agencies? They had their own “separate but equal” schools – uh huh. They did not have places to eat and stay overnight when traveling through some parts of the country.

    No, it won’t work, Bob. This is what sets up “separate but equal” and it won’t work in a society that needs to provide for fair and equal treatment in the public market places and in the law, and in government controlled services like adoptions.

    this is the kind of thing that separate society into groups who complete for power and influence, who build walls instead of bridges in neighborhoods, religious congregations, cities, states and in the nation. This is a real danger to our ability to form a society where all are treated equally and fairly.

  • If you will check the reports from that time, you will find that CC didn’t have the option to “go it alone” — they either allowed gay couples to use their services to adopt, or they could not offer their adoption services at all. Funding wasn’t an issue.

  • .
    Here you go, buddy:

    Boston Globe:Bishops’ gay ban may cost millions

    But we may not even be talking about state funding at all — “corporations and philanthropies . . . have their own nondiscrimination policies to abide by.”

    http://archive.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2006/03/05/bishops_gay_ban_may_cost_millions/

    I don’t have access to the Globe, but here’s another fellow’s interpretation:

    “Catholic Charities suddenly realized that if it discriminated in its adoption services, claiming and seeking a ‘religious freedom’ exception to the Massachusetts law, then Catholic Charities would lose money. Lots of money. Yes, United Way could not contribute to Boston Catholic Charities (as it did last year with a gift of $1.2 million) if Catholic Charities discriminated against gays seeking to adopt children. Catholic Charities would also be placing private charitable contributions in doubt as well. The Boston Globe reports that ‘Catholic Charities relies heavily on private contributions from corporations, foundations, and individual donors. In the last fiscal year, it received $6.6 million — or 24 percent of its total revenue — from these private sources.’ “

    https://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=158×8049
    .

  • .
    But the whole funding issue — whether state, corporate or private — may be a red herring in MA (or at least, moot):

    “Massachusetts law is equally clear. Any agency in Massachusetts that handles adoptions must obtain a state license, which prohibits them from turning down prospective parents based on sexual orientation, religion, and race, among other factors. If an agency knowingly discriminates, it could be stripped of its license to broker all adoptions. At issue is whether the Church and Catholic Charities should be exempt from this requirement.”

    https://scholarship.law.stjohns.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1116&context=jcls

    Edit PS: So you were right. (= UpVote.)
    .

  • .
    I usually agree with you, dude, and I actually made a similar comment an hour or so ago.

    Further research ensued, and in the case of MA, the issue of funding — whether state, corporate or private — is a red herring (or at the least, moot):

    “Massachusetts law is equally clear. Any agency in Massachusetts that handles adoptions must obtain a state license, which prohibits them from turning down prospective parents based on sexual orientation, religion, and race, among other factors. If an agency knowingly discriminates, it could be stripped of its license to broker all adoptions. At issue is whether the Church and Catholic Charities should be exempt from this requirement.”

    https://scholarship.law.stjohns.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1116&context=jcls

    PS: I’ve made several other Comments/Replies here today. If you’ve got the time, I’d be interested in your thought.
    .

  • .
    I did “check the reports from that time” — you have offered a mere paraphrase of my last offering and citation.

    Pay attention, please.
    .

  • The attempt to equate racial equality with LBGT issues falls flat.

    As twenty six African American Christian leaders wrote to Hillary Clinton October 31, 2016:

    “The drive to normalize immoral sexual behavior has inspired some to dishonor the memory of courageous blacks who experienced the unique horrors of white supremacy, slavery, rape, terrorism and apartheid in the U.S. Their argument that religious freedom laws are historically and existentially equivalent to Jim Crow laws rests on false assertions. Partisans who make these arguments have declared war on the truth of the black experience as well as on the freedom of faithful Americans to follow their consciences.”

    “A well-financed war is now being waged by the gay and lesbian community in the US and abroad on the faith of our ancestors. Furthermore, there are some in your party who seek to criminalize our biblical texts as hate speech. Like Martin Luther King, Jr., we do not invite conflict. However, in cases where questions of conscience and religious freedom are at stake, we are prepared, for the sake of the gospel, to suffer the consequences of standing on our convictions. We must resist what Pope Francis has called the ideological colonization of people of faith. We do not organize to suppress the freedom of other groups. We do, however, insist upon having freedom to fulfill our call to righteous living and service to humankind.”

    A black child was discriminated against because of skin color. The objections to LBGT couples deals with behavior.

    The religious objections to integration were rare and the province of a fringe.

    The religious objections to certain dealings with LBGT behavior include the two largest Christian denominations in the USA.

    The civil rights movement was a grass roots movement.

    The LBGT movement is the result of a “well-financed war”.

    Non-discrimination because of race was a Federal law.

    Non-discrimination because of sexual behavior is not a Federal law.

    This is not “separate but equal”. The very same children for adoption are available to every agency and to every potential adoptive parent.

    Nor is adoption a “public market place.”, which deals with interstate commerce. In fact, interstate commerce in children is contrary to law.

    You just want to make religions kneel at the altar of your beliefs.

  • If they signed that piece of paper, they would have been complicit in what they and the other parties believed was an immoral act.

    And, as it turned out, it was unnecessary.

    No, that provision was provided by a government which had contrived the circumstances knowing full well it needed NOTHING AT ALL from the Sisters.

    And when the government admitted that to the Supreme Court, it slinked away and the “problem” evaporated.

    Obviously you think conscientious objectors, if they object to something YOU favor, are finks.

  • Sorry, but a link to the “Journal of Catholic Studies” when the subject is passive aggressive action by a Catholic Charity isn’t worth taking at face value. A confirmation of the actual law would be helpful here.

    In any event, I have no sympathy for them anyway. Their need to define their belief in terms of who they hate or must treat badly obviously was more important than placing children for adoption to loving homes. Just because one calls their bigotry religious belief, doesn’t mean it needs to be respected or be given color of law. If discrimination was more important to them than adoptions, so be it.

    But one should not be such a whinybabies about such choices. They are not martyrs, they are not victims. They are just being terrible people. We don’t need to weaken anti-discrimination laws to accommodate their malice.

  • Meh. It’s a question of right or wrong. These organizations are Not “church-run,” just church-affiliated. If you don’t like the rules, don’t play the game.

  • .
    ” . . . isn’t worth taking at face value . . . ”

    ProTip: Don’t Dispute — Refute.

    It’s a question of fact, not perspective — “Any agency in Massachusetts that handles adoptions must obtain a state license . . . ”

    Ball’s still in your court, dude.

    (I agree with the rest of your Reply.)

    Cheers!
    .

  • Your last link here is the point I was making, that in Massachusetts CC either offered its adoption services to gays and lesbians or they didn’t offer them to anyone. For the links in your other post about the money CC stood to lose from private donations being behind the reason it dropped its MA adoption services, there’s a fundamental problem with it — this policy wasn’t just in MA, it’s the same wherever CC offers adoption services; I would think that the same issue with private donations would hold there as well, yet the same rule continues to be in place to this day. By now, any private donations that would have been lost HAS been lost.

  • An organization doesn’t need to be “church-run” to make a Free Exercise claim under the 1st Amendment.

  • If the polls aren’t accurate, what’s your basis for saying that the majority oppose same-sex couples adopting? Is it like Nixon’s “silent majority” that agreed with him on Vietnam? Professionals that looked closely at the 2016 numbers and understood how the Electoral College worked knew Hillary was not going to have an easy time. Do you any data to contradict Gallup?
    I find it incredibly ironic that in a post purporting to support the right of Christian adoption agencies to steer children away from non-Christians, you would denigrate adoptive parents as being non-biological and thus somehow lacking God’s blessing. I’m sure there are plenty of heterosexual Christian couples that “follow God’s laws for creation” yet struggle with infertility. What did they do to forfeit God’s blessing?

  • I have yet to see evidence of such a law outside of sources which are apologetic to the Catholic position. I was doing my own research after your post. I found nothing reliable to verify that.

    Given the fictions generally needed for their “martyr” position, I simply do not take the assertion at face value. Evidently despite all the research and referenced made, there was none to the actual law and provisions they described.

    It’s tough to prove a negative here. If it is an actual law, one would think those objecting to it could refer to its specific provision. Especially if it was new legislation at the time.

    “It’s a question of fact, not perspective — “Any agency in Massachusetts that handles adoptions must obtain a state license . . . ”

    Yup, unless that fact is established, the Catholic Charities perspective on the subject is questionable.My suspicion based on what I already know here is the Catholic group and their supporters are misrepresenting facts.

  • Since you know literally nothing about Catholics except how to spell “Catholic”, and nothing about their beliefs, it is certainly no surprise you “found nothing reliable to verify that”.

  • .
    Jesus.

    More baseless, speculative, pugnacious disputation.

    Here you go, champ —

    “Hey, Google, are adoption agencies nrequired to be licensed in massachusetts?”

    “Adoption in Massachusetts is only allowed through a licensed placement agency. Under an agreement with the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the Department of Early Education & Care (EEC) licenses adoption agencies.”

    http://www.mass.gov/edu/birth-grade-12/early-education-and-care/licensing/adoption-foster-care-and-residential-care-lic-/adoption-agencies.html

    In a nation whose each and every single state requires a license for beauticians, for someone to baselessly dispute that Massachusetts requires adoption agencies to be licensed can only be interpreted as sheer argumentative and ideological contrarianism.
    .

  • In other words gay taxpayers are forced to fund (via taxes) agencies that get to actively discriminate against them. If the government is going to fund groups that discriminate against certain groups of Americans, those citizens should be excused from having to pay the tax that funds it.

    What goes around comes around. Someday when we get enough power, we’re going to give tax funds to adoption organizations that will refuse to place children with Evangelicals. We’re gonna discriminate against Evangelicals just like they did to us.

    When you mistreat other human beings, it always comes back on you. Evangelicals may be laughing now, but one day they will be crying.

  • They should just piss on the Constitution and be done with it.

    The government must provide equal protection under the law. The government cannot discriminate against citizens. If the government contracts out a function, the contractor must also treat all citizens equally. The government cannot introduce discrimination by hiring someone else to discriminate.

    If this is how christians behave, who would want to be a christian?

  • This is a government function. This government function should be available to all citizens with equal, relevant criteria applied to all. It is wrong for a contractor to inject religious bias when acting as an agent for our government.

  • Equal protection under what law?

    LBGT is not a federally protected class.

    And in this case it is private organizations, not the government, dealing with citizens.

    Your example involves establishing a religion, which is in fact forbidden under the First Amendment, on the part of the government.

    Nor is there a civic right to adopt, so that reasoning goes nowhere.

    Your last sentence simply states your erroneous personal opinion.

  • There is no Oklahoma law against adoption by a same sex couple or an individual with a same sex orientation.

    Therefore, while either might not be able to arrange an adoption through – say – Catholic Charities, the same pool of children is available to either through other agencies.

    What you’re suggesting is that there should be an anti-religious bias on the part of the government in permitting contractors to provide services to the public.

  • Applying one set of rules to everyone is not “anti religious bias.” If an organization wants to contract to perform a government function, they are subject to the same Constitutional requirements as the government. That includes equal protection.

  • If the rules applied to everyone involve stepping all over the sincerely held religious beliefs of citizens otherwise fully qualified to perform a function, it constitutes an anti-religious bias.

    There is no Constitutional requirement that Oklahoma require adoption agencies to violate their beliefs.

  • There is no constitutional requirement that any organization contract to perform government services.

    If the government decided to contract out the building permit process, would you be chill with some locations refusing to issue building permits to churches? The church can drive around the county until it finds an office willing to issue permits to churches. And if every contractor exercises its “right” to discriminate based on their own beliefs that churches are a drain on society, then I gues the church doesn’t get that government service. Because the religious freedom of the organization GETTING PAID TAXPAYER MONEY to PERFORM A GOVERNMENT SERVICE outweighs the customer – the church’s – right to equal treatment.

    Seriously? Can you now see how wrong this is? People and organizations who choose to perform government services must abide by constitutional requirements for equal treatment.

    There is no constitutional right to act as a government agent and facilitate adoptions.

  • And looking through it, there is no such regulation.

    http://www.mass.gov/edu/birth-grade-12/early-education-and-care/licensing/adoption-foster-care-and-residential-care-lic-/licensing-requirements-for-residential-and.html

    Licensing Requirements for Foster and Adoption Placement Agencies

    Combined in 1997 and revised in 1998, the Foster Care and Adoption regulations include the following requirements:

    Evidencethat all foster and adoptive parents, and all household members 17
    years and older, have passed a Criminal Offender Records Information (CORI) check.

    Statement of ownership of the placement agency, including financial documentation and evidence of financial capability, tax certification, business management plan, and cash flow plan.

    Evidencethat child placement agency employees are certified and licensed as
    required and are qualified to provide services to children and families.

    An evaluation of the physical characteristics of foster and adoptive homes by the child placement agency and evidence that the homes are found to be clean, safe, adequate in size, and free from fire and other hazards.

    A process for the evaluation and assessment of foster and adoptive parents and evidence that the approved parents are able to meet the physical, developmental, emotional, and educational needs children.

    Writtenprocedures for the evaluation of foster and adoptive children and the
    development of service plans for children and their families by the child placement agency.

    The ability to meet the health and educational needs of children and provide the necessary psychological and psychiatric services to children and families.

    The ability to provide all casework management responsibilities for children and families, including social services, intake evaluations and service planning.

    The ability to provide services, including counseling and education, to assist birth parents in making informed decisions regarding the surrender of their child for adoption.

    Written records for foster and adoptive children and parents that includes intake, evaluations and assessments, service planning, medical, progress reports, and discharge information plus all required authorizations and consents.

  • You continue to conflate and confuse separate issues.

    There are three levels of law involved:

    – State law

    – Federal law

    – Constitutional law

    “If the government decided to contract out the building permit process, would you be chill with some locations refusing to issue building permits to churches?” runs smack into Constitutional law; the First Amendment to be exact.

    Originally only applicable to the Federal government, it has been “incorporated” to apply to the states.

    While there is no constitutional obligation on the government to contract out services, there is no constitutional obligation not to with the exception of certain inherently government functions delineated in the Constitution and their counterparts in various state constitutions.

    In this case there is nothing prohibiting Oklahoma from passing and applying this law.

    Now, that disposes of “People and organizations who choose to perform government services must abide by constitutional requirements for equal treatment.”

    As to “Can you now see how wrong this is?”, you are certainly free to become a citizen of Oklahoma and advocate for different laws, run for office or support persons running for office who see it your way, and otherwise use the democratic processes to convince your fellow citizens that imposing on people with sincere religious beliefs your particular views on what is fair serves a public purpose.

    If I know the folks in Oklahoma, that will happen when pigs fly.

  • The allegation that the Catholic Charities were forced to avoid discrimination as a requisite to adoption licensing even as a private entity is not supported by facts or objective evidence.

  • The Constitution protects the rights of each individual. These rights are not put to a vote.

    The Constitution limits government power at every level of government. A local government cannot suspend freedom from self incrimination or freedom from warrantless searches. And no local or state government can suspend equal protection no matter how many loving christians vote to deny equal protection to those yucky people over there.

    A local government cannot avoid the Constitution by hiring someone else to do the deed. A local government could hire contractors to issue building permits, but those functions would still have to be performed in compliance with the US Constitution. That means equal treatment. And the contractor’s religious beliefs, prejudices or other hang ups do not exempt compliance with constitutional requirements while he is serving as an agent for the government.

    Likewise, people seeking governnment foster care and adoption services are also entitled to equal treatment, even if the government contracts out some aspects. And the contractor’s religious beliefs, prejudices or other hang ups do not exempt compliance with constitutional requirements while he is serving as an agent for the government.

  • There is a right to equal protection.

    Which means the government cannot refuse to issue driver’s licenses to every person named Bob, even tho neither driving nor Bob is mentioned in the document.

    You are entitled to equal treatment when dealing with the government. And that right cannot be taken away no matter how many people think Bobs are inherently yucky and should be discriminated against at every opportunity.

  • Equal protection under any law.

    Equal protection under every law.

    As required by The Constitution of the United States of America, 14th Amendment, Section 1.

    Every citizen is protected by the 14th Amendment.

    An organization acting in its own capacity can do what likes, subject to state and local laws. A church or religious charity can discriminate to its heart’s content on any basis it chooses.

    But, if the charity voluntarily enters a contract to perform government functions, it is then subject to Constitutional provisions regarding government actions. This means equal treatment and equal protection.

  • No, there is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits not providing adoption services to same sex couples, with or without government involvement.

    You’re certainly free to bring suit attempting to make new law ala Obergefell v. Hodges, but as things stand Oklahoma has no obligation along the lines you wish.

  • I believe you have “equal protection” memorized quite well.

    Unfortunately you don’t have a grasp of what that means legally.

  • Unless it has been incorporated, the Constitution may not limit local and state government at every level.

    The answer is “it depends”.

    There is no civil right to adopt at all.

  • The Gallup poll also showed that Hillary would win.

    Go figure.

    The poll you cited included states like California and Maryland.

    The law being discussed is in Oklahoma.

  • If it was predicting the national popular vote, then they were right.
    The poll I cited surveyed adults from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

  • .
    Okay.

    Well, the first two lines of the citation you provided state as follows:

    “This is a page on our old website. You may be seeing outdated content. Please search the new website to check for the most recent information.”

    So, let’s shift our focus to the following, shall we?

    https://www.mass.gov/lists/department-of-early-education-and-care-eec-laws-and-regulations

    And, specifically, the following:

    606 CMR 5: Standards for the licensure or approval of agencies offering child Placement and Adoption services – Effective March 9, 2018 (replaces 102 CMR 5)

    https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2018/03/14/606%20CMR%205.00%20Adoption%20%26%20Placement%20Regs%20Effective%20Mar%209%202018.pdf

    Which provides under “5.03: Licensure” requirements that

    “The placement agency shall agree to comply with the laws of Massachusetts, of other states, of the federal government, and foreign nations and federal immigration laws if applicable.”

    Is it your contention that discrimination on the basis of sex or sexual identity is allowed under “the laws of Massachusetts [or] the federal government”?
    .

  • “Is it your contention that discrimination on the basis of sex or sexual
    identity is allowed under “the laws of Massachusetts [or] the federal
    government”?”

    Not unless you cite the actual anti-discrimination law which allegedly has no religious exceptions. Pretty much all of these anti-discrimination laws give religious exceptions to activities which are purely private or commerce which is closed in nature.

  • Since we were talking about Yiddish before, as di bubbe volt gehat beytsim volt zi gevain mayn zaidah.

  • .
    Jesus, dude.

    From the afore-mentioned cite:

    5.03(2)(a): “All placement agencies shall submit the following: 1. . . . a statement of non-discrimination, as required by 102 CMR 1.03(1).”

    102 CMR 1.03(1): “The licensee shall not discriminate in providing services to children and their families on the basis of race, religion, cultural heritage, political beliefs, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation or disability.”

    As for any applicable “religious exceptions”, they had already been pursued by and denied to CC before their withdrawal from the program, and are irrelevant to our discussion.

    Listen, dude, if your next response is anything but some articulation of “Uncle”, do not expect a Reply from me.

    You have become tiresome.

    (Sad to say.)
    .

  • Or quite a spectacle in a carnival side show.

    Of course, if Obama had balls, we would never have gotten into the Iran deal canceled today.

  • Yeah, isn’t it great? Now Iran can freely start working on its nuclear weapons program again! It can also initiate irregular troop movements among its militias in southern Syria, causing Israel to activate its shelters in the north, call up reservists, warn its citizens to expect rocket attacks, and possibly (claimed by Syria/Iran, no comment by Israel) initiate a missile strike against Iranian positions last night south of Damascus. And I hope you’ve enjoyed having paid approximately 30 cents more per gallon of gas since Trump’s been president, because the scuttling of the deal will make oil prices go even higher.
    The only thing that makes me feel good about this is that Netanyahu is in Moscow today for Victory Day and spent many hours discussing Syria with Putin. Glad we’re all coordinating!

  • I think we heard this same sort of thing on North Korea on nukes and Syria on chemical weapons.

    It is already involved in Syria, Israel has felt compelled to take offensive actions against Iran both in Iran and elsewhere, and the Saudis after the agreement was signed began distancing itself from the US and developing plans to begin its own nuclear program.

    If you think the deal made any sense or that Iran was not working on nuclear weapons, you should put in for the 2018 Neville Chamberlain award.

    I agree with Netanyahu.

  • Since we’re bringing up World War II parallels, Israel and Saudi Arabia have apparently decided, with Trump’s blessing, that they have a common enemy in Iran. All of a sudden, the rightwing media seems to be ignoring KSA’s brutality toward its own people and its propagation of Wahhabism across the world. They called George W. Bush and Obama traitors for meeting with the Saudis, but once their Dear Leader did it, all the talk about “kowtowing” and “9/11 co-conspirators” disappeared. No one is asking what you brought up: because we’re okay with KSA developing nuclear weapons now that we’re all friends in the Bomb Iran club.
    It’s not that I think the JCPOA was so great, it’s that I want to know what the alternative is. I do not trust Netanyahu, who has proven himself to be a liar and backstabber too many times. And the image of Netanyahu pulling Trump’s puppet strings is bad for Israel and bad for the Jews. My views are in accordance with those of former directors of the Mossad and Shin Bet. I heartily encourage you to tell them they’re Nazi appeasers.

  • Israel and Saudi Arabia decided long before Trump that they have a common enemy in Iran.

    They concluded that because Iran is a common enemy in fact and reality.

    Of course when the previous administration, in one of its frequent flights of fancy and from reality, signed an unenforceable feel good deal with Iran, both Israel and Saudi Arabia were appalled and started looking for alternatives, in the case of Saudi Arabia ramping up its own nuclear program.

    KSA’s brutality toward its own people and its propagation of Wahhabism across the world does not make Iran less of an enemy of Israel or Saudi Arabia.

    I trust Netanyahu about as much as I trusted Obama, who also proved himself to be a liar and backstabber. You know a politician is liar when his lips are moving.

    I live in the real world, not LaLa Land.

    The image of Netanyahu pulling Trump’s puppet strings is imaginary.

    I heartily encourage you to stick to the facts and drop the “Nazi appeasers” shtick.

  • You may want to take a couple more English classes if you want a successful career as a paid troll.

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