Early Friday morning the Kansas legislature passed a bill granting legal protections to faith-based adoption agencies that won’t place children in homes that go against their “sincerely held” religious beliefs.
As lightning struck outside the windows of the House chambers, and as the clock ticked pass 1:30 a.m. in the Senate.
“It’s not our job to judge other people and this bill does that,” said State. Sen. John Doll, I-Garden City.
Lawmakers under the dome dove into two heated debate over Senate Bill 284 also known as the Adoption Protection Act.
“We’re talking about children in need of care.” State Sen. Ty Masterson, R-Andover, said during debate.
The bill gives legal protections to adoptions agencies if they refuse to place children in homes violating their religious beliefs.
“Birth moms and families will find greater comfort that they will be able to work with an agencies that shares their beliefs,” explained State Rep. Susan Humphries, R-Wichita, who sponsored the bill.
Opponents in both chambers augured the bill uses tax payers dollars to allow discrimination.
“The state of Kansas does not have the right to discriminate on the base of religion,” State Rep. John Carmichael, D-Wichita, said.
However, supporters urged the legislation helps place more children in home and would open the door for more adoption agencies to come to the state.
“We are taking a stand in the state of Kansas that discrimination is not going to be allowed, and it also means our religions are not going to be discriminated against,” explained State Sen. Richard Hilderbrand, R-Baxter Springs.
Right before 2 a.m, the Senate gave the final green light to the bill sending the bill to the Governor’s desk.
Governor Colyer released the following statement after the vote:
“Catholic Charities and other adoption agencies are key to the fabric of our communities. I look forward to signing this bill because it increases the opportunities for needy children to find loving homes.”