Tennessee Lawmakers Send Discriminatory Adoption and Foster Care Bill to Governor for Signature

NEW YORK —  Today, the Tennessee legislature became the first in the nation to pass anti-LGBTQ legislation in 2020. Tennessee Senators voted in favor of SB 1304, a bill that allows adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate and will reduce the number of families available to foster and adopt children in Tennessee. 

“If Governor Lee signs this bill into law, Tennessee will join a small group of states that have broken the cardinal rule of child welfare — that the needs of children should come first,” said The Rev. Stan J. Sloan, CEO of Family Equality, “These ‘license to discriminate’ laws hurt all children waiting for a forever home by reducing the pool of potential parents, allowing agencies to refuse to place children with close relatives who happen to be LGBTQ and permitting discrimination against potential parents of another faith. We urge the Governor in the strongest possible terms to veto this bill that harms Tennessee’s most vulnerable children.”

Family Equality is committed to continuing to fight on behalf of LGBTQ+ families and for child welfare systems that are free from discrimination. Family Equality is proud to lead the national Every Child Deserves a Family Campaign, bringing together a broad coalition of organizations from across the political spectrum, including child welfare organizations, child welfare professionals, advocacy and civil rights organizations, and current and former foster youth with lived experience in the child welfare system. Campaign members are united in the belief that no otherwise qualified foster or adoptive parent should be turned away due to their marital status, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

About Family Equality

Family Equality advances legal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change. Family Equality believes every LGBTQ+ person should have the right and opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of who they are or where they live. Learn more at familyequality.org.

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