Gay adoption bill holds Tennessee back

Legislators passed a bill last week making it legal for foster care and adoption agencies to prevent gay couples from adopting in Tennessee, setting a dangerous precedent for the state. 

The bill, proposed by Rep. Tim Rudd of Murfreesboro, allows licensed adoption agencies to prevent adoptions due to religious objections to the sexual orientation of the couple attempting to foster or adopt a child. 

Poverty, drugs and abuse are rampant problems found in every city in Tennessee. 

These problems caused by neglectful parents force children into foster homes and into adoption agencies.

If applicants meet the necessary requirements to take care of a child but are denied because of their sexual orientation, the child care agency in question needs to reevaluate their priorities.

Many gay people live happy, normal lives and could provide stability to children who need support and care.

It shouldn’t matter to these agencies if someone who is adopting a child is gay or straight. It is their business to make sure the child is going to go into a safe, loving home.

Denying children homes because the potential adoptive parents are living a lifestyle that does not adhere to a standard lifestyle is petty and wrong. 

There are approximately 7,500 children in foster care and around 350 children available for adoption in Tennessee who don’t have an identified adoptive home, according to AdoptUSKids.org.

That’s a lot of children to keep in the system just because a select group of individuals want to limit the rights of gay people.

This bill is a blatant disregard of the separation of church and state. The only reason this bill exists is religious ideologies. 

The proposed law allows for illegal discrimination against gay people for the sole reason that some Christians believe being gay is a sin.

I don’t agree with the sentiment, but I do understand some people believe being gay is wrong because of their religious beliefs and as Americans, they have every right to that belief.

However, it’s not fair or logical to enforce a law that has no purpose but to please a select group while completely neglecting another. This law doesn’t help disadvantaged children, so clearly it wasn’t enacted for their sake.

“It’s not limiting anything,” Rudd said about the bill. 

He believes that since gay individuals can adopt and foster through other agencies that it won’t limit their ability to find an agency.

Despite Rudd’s skepticism, it could damage their chances of adopting or fostering. 

Also, it will certainly limit opportunities for children who need to be adopted or fostered. 

It irritates me because it is an unnecessary law that will hurt an already flawed and overloaded system. 

It is also a shameless attempt to take away rights from gay people.

Tennessee is one of the more conservative states because of its location in the Bible Belt which means we fall short in a lot of areas.

In order to progress as a state, we need to stop gatekeeping and accept people who might not be the same sexual orientation, race or religion as us.

We need to be supportive of people who are different if we want to preach about loving our neighbors.

It’s 2019 and our neighbors might not look or act exacly like us.

Rudd and the Christians who support this bill need to reflect on the Bible verses found in Matthew 7:1-3 and quit judging others based on what they deem as wrong and let other people live their own lives.

“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”