The Texas House has passed HB 3859 by Rep. James Frank, and it has been received in the Senate. The bill would allow child welfare organizations, agencies, employees, and foster parents that contract with the state to discriminate against LGBTQ families and others when making foster care and adoption decisions.
The only consideration for a child welfare agency, organization, its employees, and foster parents should always be the best interests of the child – not advancing the interests or beliefs of a state contractor. HB 3859 would allow the religious beliefs of child welfare providers to be placed above the needs of our most vulnerable children. That could jeopardize the health and well-being of children in state care.
HB 3859 is clearly intended to permit individuals and organizations to use their religious beliefs to discriminate against LGBTQ families and children. The proposed legislation would also allow state contractors and providers to discriminate against single or divorced people, interfaith couples, as well as people of different religious faiths or denominations. This is morally wrong and legally problematic.