GOP Sneaks Anti-LGBTQ Adoption Amendment Into Critical Funding Bill

Recently, we’ve seen several red states invent ways for the government to continue funding adoption agencies that discriminate against gay people. Now, Republicans are taking that same sliminess to the federal level.

On Wednesday, all but one Republican member of the House Appropriations Committee voted to advance a rule that would punish states that decline to fund agencies that use religion as an excuse to discriminate.


Frustratingly, it’s the Republicans who are alleging discrimination – the amendment instructs states not to “discriminate” against agencies with “sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions.” Paraphrased, blue states better not refuse to do business with entities that refuse to business with others!

It’s the kind of law that wouldn’t necessarily pass on its own accord, so U.S. Representative Robert Aderholt tacked it on to a critical funding bill for the Education, Labor and Health and Human Services Departments. Presumably, Aderholt’s hope is that opponents of the idea will decide it’s more important to keep the departments funded than squabble over these

David Stacy with the Human Rights Campaign said, “Any member of Congress who supports this amendment is clearly stating that it is more important to them to discriminate than to find loving homes for children in need.”

The particulars of the amendment only serve to emphasize that point. If passed, the text stipulates that states that refuse to fund discriminatory adoption organizations would lose out on 15 percent of federal money earmarked for child welfare purposes. In other words, Republicans are fine taking away money from kids in need as a bargaining chip.

Conservatives will argue that placing children with heterosexual couples is in the best interest of the kids, but by pulling this money, the best interest is clearly not the motivating force here. Besides, the research on this subject shows that kids raised by homosexual parents fare just as well as those with heterosexual parents.

To be clear, as it stands, the federal government does not prevent religious organizations from finding the kinds of families it feels suitable for the children in their care, although in most states it will not give money to support these organizations because of their discriminatory practices. Contrary to the GOP’s assertions, kids are in no way hurt by this decision since the money instead goes to agencies who don’t engage in discriminatory practices.

It’s not just the LGBTQ community that would be put out by this amendment. Single parents, interracial couples and couples with different religious beliefs are also sometimes discriminated against by faith-based agencies. As a result, kids are left family-less when they could have otherwise been put in a loving home.

That’s precisely the problem – the pool of prospective adoptive/foster parents isn’t nearly large enough to accommodate the number of kids in the system. On average, kids wait two years to be placed. Summarily turning down would-be parents over factors that have no bearing on their ability to be a successful, loving guardian just serves to hurt these kids further.

Fortunately, it doesn’t look like liberals will take this issue lying down. “House Democrats will fight this disgusting, deeply immoral and profoundly offensive effort with all our strength,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. “There is no place for bigotry or discrimination in our foster and adoption systems – or in any part of our democracy.”

Take Action

Better yet, we can also urge Rep. Aderholt to work with his colleagues to pull the amendment. Given that it does nothing to help children in need, let’s keep personal attitudes about sexuality out of a larger funding bill, please, and save arguments of this nature for another day. Sign the petition to encourage Aderholt and the rest of Congress to remove the amendment.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Mary F
Mary Frances B8 months ago


silja s
silja salonen8 months ago

growling !! every which way that children are being hurt. whether separated from their families and being put into cages. or being denied loving parents. or turning a blind eye to gun violence in schools in the commulnity at large. WH and all the gutter snipes therein are destroying the very fabric which they promised to help. you cannot make any country great if you ignore the children ... they are the future of all communities of the globe itself.

Joan E
Joan E8 months ago

The GOP, especially today's GOP, is full of all the worst people -- racist, hateful, criminal. greedy, small-minded, lacking in kindness, tolerance and empathy. Trump projects all these faults on immigrants and people of color, but that is just him projecting his own flaws on others as usual.

Deborah W
Deborah W8 months ago

UNTIL GROUP LABELS CHANGE TO PEOPLE LABELS this will continue and expand. In the game of politics BOTH SIDES (why are there sides) know they have to add amendments the other wants to get the MAIN BILL through all levels to presentation and final desired results. Not working too well these days, finally seen for what that game is. VOTE YOUR TRUTH, without answering polls, telephone surveys, etc. so that the weak spots can get built up before elections. KEEP IT BETWEEN YOU AND THE BOOTH.

Thomas M
Past Member 8 months ago

Signed. Thanks.

Paula A
Patricia A8 months ago


Karen H
Karen H9 months ago

The GOP and religious right love to discriminate against everybody else, but the second somebody calls them on it, they scream "DISCRIMINATION!" at the top of their lungs. How do they prove "sincerely held religious beliefs"? Or don't they feel they have to? What about MY sincerely held religious beliefs? Because they don't match the bigots', I don't count? These "deeply religious" people would rather that children languish in orphanages or the foster system than have two loving parents. When will they decide single parent families violate their religious beliefs? How many children have been killed by "deeply religious" heterosexual couples who believe sparing the rod spoils the child?

Kelsey S
Kelsey S9 months ago

Petition signed

Dave f
Past Member 9 months ago


Kathy G
Kathy G9 months ago

Thank you