Gov. Lee signs adoption bill that allows agencies to deny LGBTQ couples
Governor Bill Lee signed a bill, effective immediately, that allows adoption agencies to deny LGBTQ couples the right to adopt.
In the first legislative session of 2020, the Tennessee state Senate passed its first bill of the year that would allow adoption agencies to deny LGBTQ couples based on religious beliefs,
The bill, sponsored by Senator Paul Rose, R-Covington, said no licensed adoption agency would be required to participate in a child's placement for foster care or adoption, if doing so would "violate the agency's written religious or moral convictions or policies."
The bill would also prohibit the state from denying an agency's license or grant application for public funds because of the group's refusal to place a child with a same-sex family. The bill stated that adoption agencies would be protected from lawsuits regarding their refusal to participate in certain adoptions that violate the agency's moral convictions.
The Senate passed the bill 20-6. Five Republican members declined to vote on the measure.
The bill was passed by the House in April 2019. Lee signed the bill on Friday, January 24, 2020.