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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 15, 2019 - Volume 47 Issue 07
GLAAD condemns Tennessee's new anti-LGBTQ adoption bills that would harm youth and unfairly exclude LGBTQ families from adopting
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GLAAD condemns Tennessee's new anti-LGBTQ adoption bills that would harm youth and unfairly exclude LGBTQ families from adopting

NEW YORK (February 8, 2019) - GLAAD, the world's largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today condemned the Tennessee General Assembly for introducing measures that would allow adoption agencies to deny LGBTQ families the ability to adopt children by citing so-called 'religious exemptions.' According to the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), about 160,000 LGBTQ people live in Tennessee, with approximately 18.1% of LGBTQ couples raising children.

Under HB 0836, an adoption agency could deny an LGBTQ family the ability to adopt a child, as well as prevent them from pursuing litigation against the agency for refusing to serve them. Also, under SB 0848, an adoption agency would be protected from any consequential action by state or local governments if it chooses to deny an LGBTQ family the ability to adopt a child.

'These measures represent state-sanctioned licenses to discriminate,' said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO at GLAAD. 'This effort in Tennessee is part of a coordinated campaign across the country to turn back the progress LGBTQ people have made, and the fair-minded people of Tennessee will see right through this charade, which harms families and children by hiding behind the false guise of protecting religion.'

The disturbing news from Tennessee comes as the American Bar Association [ABA] recently adopted a resolution urging lawmakers who live in states that do not have nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ couples to pass policies preventing discrimination against LGBTQ parents and couples. The group also urged all bar associations and attorneys across the country to defend couples or families who are victims of anti-LGBTQ discrimination. GLAAD praised the ABA's efforts because anti-LGBTQ activists continue to roll back adoption rights for LGBTQ families in states across the nation, including in state like Kansas and Texas.

'Make no mistake. The anti-LGBTQ animus rearing its head in Tennessee is emanating from the White House, where the President's attack dog Mike Pence is giving a permission slip for state and local lawmakers to advance legislation that harms LGBTQ Americans,' said Ellis.

Since taking office, the Trump administration has unleashed more than 93 attacks against LGBTQ Americans in policy and rhetoric, which includes granting South Carolina a waiver to allow faith-based organizations to deny LGBTQ couples the ability to adopt a child. GLAAD's Trump Accountability Project (TAP) has catalogued every anti-LGBTQ action by this administration, available at www.glaad.org/trump.

Courtesy of GLAAD

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