Several anti-LGBTQ organizations have come together in a new effort to prevent same-sex couples from adopting.
The campaign, titled Keep Kids First, has been launched to defend adoption agencies that deny services to same-sex couples, reports ThinkProgress. It claims that these anti-LGBTQ agencies are under attack and still deserve tax dollars. It is also taking aim at civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union.
“Organizations like the ACLU are trying to force these providers to go against their beliefs and place kids in homes with couples who are in a same-sex relationship,” reads the campaign's website, arguing that penalizing these agencies will reduce the number of adoptions. “But eliminating faith-based adoption and foster care providers means that fewer children will find a forever home.”
It particularly denounces the ACLU for suing on behalf of two Michigan same-sex couples challenging the state's "license to discriminate" law allowing adoption agencies to receive state funding even if they refuse to serve LGBTQ parents.
Among Keep Kids First's backers are the Alliance Defending Freedom and Family Research Council, both of which have been declared hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. They join organizations including Wait No More, the Family Policy Alliance, the Heritage Foundation, and the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
The Alliance Defending Freedom has often drafted and lobbied for "license to discriminate" laws that prevent Christian groups from losing government dollars when they refuse to serve LGBTQ clients in the name of religion, Most recently, laws passed in Kansas and Oklahoma this May that allow faith-based discrimination in adoption.
Texas, Alabama, South Dakota, Virginia, and Michigan have similar discriminatory laws in place, NBC News reports. Other states and cities, including Illinois, Massachusetts, San Francisco, and the District of Columbia, have ceased using Catholic Charities for adoption and foster care services because the Roman Catholic Church objects to allowing same-sex couples adopt.
Recently the Aderholt amendment, a measure attached to a spending bill which would permit federally funded child welfare agencies to turn away queer couples, was defeated.