Bad news for LGBTQ people came early this year from Tennessee. The state senate has passed a bill that forbids same-sex couples to adopt children. The two-page bill was signed by the Governor almost immediately despite multiple concerns raised including state reputation at large. From now on the licensed adoption and foster agencies reserve the right to deny same-sex couples in adopting. The law is especially crucial for faith-based agencies. Those can refer to internal regulations and could be implied if they “violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions or policies”. Doesn’t it look like as poor discrimination?
What are the forces behind the bill? It was introduced by senator Paul Rose (who also sponsored the bill). “This bill is solely about freedom,” read his statement. For sure. About freedom of discrimination. Unfortunately, the same measures could be enacted nationwide very soon as Trump administration is working in the same direction. Senator Rose, however, would prefer to be 100% sure that the lines of adoption to become longer as soon as possible. The only state Republican who opposed the bill, Steve Dickerson, has raised a real concern associated with the bill. “This will have a direct fiscal impact on the state, not to mention the humanitarian impact and emotional impact on those children who … will now be in a foster setting for a longer time.” That is how the state senate cares about children not saying LGBTQ people.
Is it the only way to discriminate against LGBTQ community in Tennessee? Unfortunately, it’s not. In addition to adoption ban, anti-discrimination state law for sexual orientation are still missing. Moreover, there is even no right to legally change gender. Finally, it is worth noting that the legalization of same-sex marriage in Tennessee has only become possible in 2015 after the Supreme Court overturn of then-existed ban. It looks like there is not so much hope left for the local LGBTQ community before November 2020. What else to do if not to keep calm and wait for positive changes to come?