On Tuesday, liberal groups recoiled at news that three states considered laws that would effectively allow religiously affiliated adoption agencies to deny service to same-sex couples.
“Opponents of LGBTQ equality are growing increasingly desperate and cruel,” Chad Griffin, president of Human Rights Campaign, said:
Opponents of LGBTQ equality are growing increasingly desperate and cruel. These bills harm kids in need and discriminate against loving families who want to open their hearts and homes. @HRC is on the ground fighting to ensure they never become law. https://t.co/njhfXNq87J
— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) April 24, 2018
But Griffin, along with others, didn't seem to consider the consequences of denying charitable organizations their religious liberty, namely that it would likely yield agency closures and fewer advocates for orphaned children.
When the Daily Beast's Samantha Allen wrote about the laws, she portrayed the states' legislative pushes as a new frontier in conservatives' allegedly cruel attack on gay and lesbian Americans:
In the three years since the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, anti-LGBT groups have been desperately looking for state-level victories wherever they can get them.
And this year, they're going after foster children. Yes, foster children.
Opposition to same-sex adoption is nothing new. Even before the Supreme Court's decision, religious organizations cut their adoption programs in the face of government mandates regarding sexual orientation.
As far back as 2006, Catholic Charities of Boston decided to end its adoption program after the city required it provide services to same-sex couples. In a similar situation, the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., ended its adoption services in 2010.
This situation stems from liberal organizations forcing religious groups to choose between violating their deeply held beliefs and providing services for orphaned children.
Religious groups, as the nation saw with Little Sisters of the Poor, have sincere beliefs about family structure and the morality of same-sex relations. They're not just denying services because they like charity but have some blind prejudice against gay and lesbian individuals.
Conservatives want religious groups to discriminate only in the sense that they distinguish between relationships, not individuals.
But that's apparently not good enough for America's LGBTQ authoritarians who have a clear political agenda: Either comply with our demands or cease activities that help those in need.
If organizations in Oklahoma, Colorado, and Kansas follow other religious organizations' paths, that would likely mean states would start losing adoption agencies. And according to the nonpartisan National Council for Adoption, eliminating faith-based agencies would translate into fewer adopted children.
Earlier this month, the council's president, Chuck Johnson — who supports allowing same-sex couples to adopt — said:
“To eliminate faith-based agencies from the field of service over ideology, to take away their licenses, which is happening in states, to prevent them from entering into contracts to provide these services for public entities ..., it is going to end up with seeing fewer resources for children in foster care and children will go unadopted.”
Johnson also said that no one had a “right to adopt.”
“Once you start talking about this group adopting or this group not adopting, you really take the focus off children and you begin to focus on the grown-ups and the agencies and the organizations,” he said.
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.