Businesses, orgs push Tennessee to reject anti-LGBTQ adoption bill

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NASHVILLE — Lambda Legal and Amazon joined the ranks of organizations opposing a Tennessee bill that would allow religious adoption agencies to deny LGBTQ couples.

The bill, passed earlier in April, would stop an adoption agency in the state from being “required to perform, assist, consent to, refer, or participate in any child placement for foster care or adoption that would violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions,” according to The Hill. Supporters have said the legislation is needed to protect religious adoption agencies if they decide not to allow LGBTQ couples to adopt. It was submitted by St. Rep. Tim Rudd.

Lambda Legal is among the LGBTQ organizations opposing the bill.

“It is incredible and unconscionable that states across the country would rather hurt foster kids – children at their most vulnerable – by denying them loving homes just because prospective foster parents might be a same-sex couple, or Jewish, or any number of other irrelevant and discriminatory rationales not related to their ability to parent,” said Currey Cook, counsel and director of Lambda Legal’s Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project. They called on state senators to reject the bill.

On Wednesday, Amazon signed on to an open letter put out by the Human Right Campaign opposing the bill.

“The business community, by and large, has consistently communicated to lawmakers at every level that bills that target LGBTQ people are bad for our employees and their families, bad for our customers and bad for business. This is not a direction in which states move when they are seeking to provide successful, thriving hubs for business and economic development,” the later stated.

Other companies opposing the bill include Hilton, Lyft, IKEA, Nike and Salesforce.

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