Tennessee House Passes Bill To Protect Religious Rights Of Prospective Foster And Adoptive Parents

Image Credit: capitol.tn.gov

The Tennessee Conservative Staff –

A bill that protects Tennessee foster and adoptive families from being required to adhere to policies regarding sexual orientation and gender identity that violate the moral or religious beliefs of the family was passed by the House of Representatives on Monday. 

House Bill 2169 (HB2169), sponsored by Representative Mary Littleton (R-District 78-Dickson), is designed to enact the “Tennessee Foster and Adoptive Parent Protection Act” which prohibits the Department of Children’s Services from requiring potential foster or adoptive families to support policies concerning sexual orientation or gender identity that may conflict with their beliefs. 

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Those in support of this bill believe that it helps to make sure that children are put in the best possible placements while protecting potential foster and adoptive families from denied the opportunity to have any children placed in their homes.

The House voted to conform to its companion bill, Senate Bill 1738 (SB1738), sponsored by Senator Paul Rose (R-District 32- Lauderdale, Shelby, and Tipton Counties). This bill has passed in the Senate on March 21 by a vote of 24 Ayes and 6 Nays. 

When questioning was opened, several Democratic representatives spoke out in opposition of the legislation.

Representative Aftyn Behn (D-Nashville-District 51), calling the legislation “discriminatory” and “hateful”, argued that the name of the bill implies that parents need to be protected from children who have differing gender identities.

“It is wrong for us to legislate discrimination in our policies and our practices,” stated Representative Justin Pearson (D-Memphis-District 86).

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Representative Justin Jones argued that the bill was using religion to make discrimination allowable.

“I think it’s interesting that the word ‘moral’ is in this bill because this bill is immoral. Discrimination cloaked under the guise of religion is still discrimination. Hate cloaked under the veil of hate is still hate…When we leave here, colleagues, we should be ashamed that we’re letting these things go through,” Jones said.

Throughout the discussion, Littleton maintained that the intention of the bill was to protect parents but also to consider the best interest of the child who was being placed in the home.

“Tennessee should welcome a diverse range of qualified foster and adoptive parents including people of faiths and beliefs, and this bill will enforce this idea. It is important to always consider the best interest of the child,” Littleton said.

Previous question was called on the bill. When that was affirmed, a vote was taken on the legislation.

The bill passed with 73 ayes and 20 nays with only the Democrats voting against.

Because it has already passed the Senate, it will be prepared to be sent to Governor Lee’s desk.

One thought on “Tennessee House Passes Bill To Protect Religious Rights Of Prospective Foster And Adoptive Parents

  • April 2, 2024 at 4:43 pm
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    The ‘Tennessee Two’ chief racists, Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, obviously are the ignorant, racists here……this bill protects the integrity of the adoption program and keeps as many foster parents involved as possible. If it were possible for the DCS to house a ‘transgender’ child in a foster home with conservative Christian parents, they’d do it first thing. And, as a result many potential foster parents would LEAVE the program….this is what Mary Littleton knows and understands…while the chief racists, would actually LOVE a program that ‘fostered’ more dependence on another government bureaucratic program, most Tennessee foster kids would suffer because of this policy! Kudos to Mary Littleton and the Tennessee legislature for seeing this bill, that protects Christian foster parents and the ‘independent’ integrity of the program, through to Lee’s desk!

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