Tennessee Governor Passes Discriminatory LGBT Law
This past week Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed into law state legislation granting adoption agencies the right to refuse services to gay and LGBT couples. The law essentially allows adoption agencies and foster homes the right to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation during the new parent selection process. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee of course reasoned the signing citing “religious freedoms”, saying "I think equality is important and protection of rights is important and the rights of religious liberty are important. And that bill was centered around protection of religious liberty and that’s why I signed it”. The law extends even further from just allowing discrimination, but actually guards it. The bill protects adoption agencies from any inbound lawsuits for refusing services. Quite a few other states to date have passed similar legislation including Oklahoma, Mississippi, South and North Dakota, Kansas, Virginia, Texas, and Alabama,
This bill is deeply troubling for a few reasons. At first glance, yes it is discriminatory and once again a case of bigotry wrapped under the guise of “religion and faith”. However, what is more troubling is that there are people out there (people of power in elected positions), that actually believe a child would be better off in a foster house or child shelter than in the home of two loving parents. Parents that love that each other, parents that are making the choice to go through a tedious process of acquiring a child, parents that have decided they are ready and committed to the utmost wellbeing of a new figure in their life. Now, of course there can be bad gay parents, just like there are bad straight parents. To put it bluntly, gay parents can’t accidentally have children. There’s no slip ups or “whoops looks like we’re expecting”. For the most part when a gay couples wants children they KNOW it’s the right time. They know the marriage is healthy, they know they have the means and broadband to raise a child, and they know the timing is right. So to limit the potential of a family less child finding a happy home with parents who love them is utterly insane. If we’re going to use religion (specifically Christianity) as a scapegoat for the reasoning behind the bill, then let's talk about how un-Christian it is to leave a child without parents or a loving support system. In what world would a Christian agree that Jesus himself would prefer a child to live a life without parents than to live with two functioning adults who happen to be homosexuals. I cannot believe that we are sitting here in 2020, all the knowledge in the world at our fingertips via smart phones, and we are still justifying disgusting and discriminatory laws citing a book from thousands of years ago. This is not to attack religion or religious people, I am all for freedom of religion and for people to believe whatever they want to believe. However, your religion should not infringe on my rights or anyones rights.
For those that may argue this is similar to the “Christian bakery” case from Colorado that made it all the way to the Supreme Court, it’s not. In that landmark case a Christian baker was granted rights to refuse service (baking wedding cakes) to homosexual couples because of his religious affiliation and his values did not align. This is not similar because what’s at stake is more than simply a cake. This is life, human life, child life on the line and the Tennessee government is passing legislation that diminishes the chances of a child being adopted and placed into a loving home. Already as is, about 20% of all foster children never get adopted. Why would putting restrictions on LGBT couples ever make sense, especially when not every child is getting adopted.
It’s time we stop letting the basis of religion dictate our laws and business’, especially when human life is on the line. There’s a reason why the U.S. government has a separation of church and state law. That reason is to protect the interests, liberty, and well being of the people. That same reason should apply to business’ and our local laws so that we can continue to live in a high functioning, highly synergistic society. Being a bigot and denying services because you don’t like who they sleep with is not “freedom”, its ignorance. So let's call it what it is and fight the good fight against discrimination. Here at the Alphabet Mafia, we are a family, you’re big gay family. And being part of the gay family means we have to have each others back. So on behalf of all our LGBTQ+ Tennessee citizens, please go ahead and call the office of Governor Bill Lee at (615) 741-2001 and let him know we are not pleased with his actions. I ask that you all remain respectful and cordial. While we are not pleased with his actions, the Alphabet Mafia never gets violent, harmful, or ill-mannered to others. We lead by example.