Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee released a statement on Tuesday saying he will be signing a new measure into law that allows faith-based foster care and adoption agencies to exclude LGBTQ families, and whoever else they want to discriminate against based on their religious beliefs. NBC News says that the state’s Republican-controlled legislature passed the two-page bill during its first 2020 day in session.
The Tennessean reports that the bill’s proponents championed the legislation for its religious “freedom,” while its detractors argued that it is simply bad policy that will lead to further discrimination against LGBTQ Americans. A few Republicans reportedly argued against passing the bill, though only Sen. Steve Dickerson of Nashville voted against it, saying it was “bad public policy” and would lead to boycotts and the financial and economic losses that come with such obviously discriminatory policies. Dickerson specifically cited tourism, sports teams, and similar fallout experienced by states with discriminatory legislation, like Indiana.
Tennessee joins other similar anti-LGBTQ movements in Kansas and Buffalo, where religious organizations argue that their “freedom” to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation outweighs their fitness as a potential loving caretaker. As with all backward and bad ideas, the Trump administration has also been weighing similar federal moves to screw LGBTQ families out of basic rights afforded to Americans.