Georgia legislators are debating a bill that critics say would discriminate against potential LGBTQ parents and make it harder for children in foster care to find safe, stable and loving homes.
Senate Bill 375, introduced by Georgia Sen. William T. Ligon Jr. (R-Brunswick), would allow taxpayer-funded adoption or foster-care providers to cite religion to discriminate against children in their care and people who want to provide them with homes.
Under the bill, providers could cite religion to refuse to serve children who are gay, transgender or hold religious beliefs that conflict with the providers'. Providers could also refuse to place children with same-sex couples, people who have been divorced and others.
The measure has provoked a strong backlash.
"Legislation that sanctions discrimination and limits options for children in need of a permanent home takes us further away from our goal of attracting investments that improve the lives of Georgia families," said Katie Kirkpatrick, chief policy officer at Metro Atlanta Chamber, a group that promotes pro-business policies.