Georgia governor opposes changes to adoption bill critics see as discriminatory

Gov. Nathan Deal. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Gov. Nathan Deal said Monday he opposed late changes to a measure that could allow private adoption agencies that receive state funding to refuse to place children with same-sex couples.

The governor said the provision, adopted last week in a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting, could scuttle an otherwise “good bill” that aimed to update the state’s adoption rules.

Deal noted the concerns of Bobby Cagle, director of the state Division of Family and Children Services, who said they could likely endanger “hundreds of millions of dollars” the agency received from the federal government because they could violate federal anti-discrimination laws.

“I certainly don’t want that to happen, and I would hope they would reconsider the addition to this language that could put the whole bill in jeopardy,” Deal said in an interview.

Cagle’s office said he was referring to the department’s requirement to comply with the Civil Rights Act to receive federal funds.

The DFCS director handed out a Justice Department memo to Senate Judiciary Committee members before the vote that said the law’s Title VI provision is an “overarching anti-discrimination statute that applies to the programs and activities of all entities receiving federal financial assistance.”

The changes to House Bill 159 were done over the objections of its sponsor, state Rep. Bert Reeves, R-Marietta. The addition to the measure has ignited a new debate over legislation pushed by some religious conservatives after lawmakers sidelined a broader “religious liberty” proposal.

Supporters say the changes could boost the number of adoption agencies that will work with the state while allowing private adoption agencies more leeway to pursue their faith-based missions. Critics cast it as legalized discrimination and promised a bitter fight to oppose the measure.

Deal, who vetoed last year’s “religious liberty” measure, was asked Monday if the new adoption provision could be a poison pill that scuttled the entire proposal.

“Obviously, you have to be concerned because that is a major program that is administered by DFCS,” he said.

Reader Comments 1

35 comments
Olimpia Herlo
Olimpia Herlo

Why would Gov. Deal go against his RINO record? He's been pushing every agenda the left had to offer, and this is no different.

Lanie Barlow
Lanie Barlow

right, it would be so much better if he were a hateful bigot.

Olimpia Herlo
Olimpia Herlo

Common sense says since two individuals of the same gender can never reproduce they hould probably adopt a pet. Oh my...shcocker! Stop forcing immorality on Americans.

Tom Alfred
Tom Alfred

Some say religious hate has created more problems than it has ever solved. This legislation may be just another example.

Patricia Baker Charles
Patricia Baker Charles

This is discrimination by the people who don't want to see gays be able to adopt. Stand your ground Governor

Morgan Eubanks
Morgan Eubanks

Kudos to Governor Deal for once again standing up for what is right and what is good for Georgia.

Ed Henderson
Ed Henderson

Thankful Georgia has a Republican Governor in the mold of the state motto of "Wisdom, Justice and Moderation" whereas North Carolina does not even have a Republican Governor anymore.

Atheists of Rome GA
Atheists of Rome GA

The republican party has been hijacked by the christian taliban, or Yall-Qaida. The only thing we can do is wait for them to destroy themselves.

Phillip Michael Lord
Phillip Michael Lord

Never could understand why low income , uneducated people could ever be allowed to adopt. The State might as well seal the child's fate placing them in borderline impoverished households. Have no idea what all the international stuff is but it's sure can be a mess for American children.

Michelle Lynn
Michelle Lynn

It's better than foster care with people that only want the checks. Family is what matters.

Lanie Barlow
Lanie Barlow

where are you getting the" low income, uneducated people" from? that isn't what this is about at all.

Melvin J Moore
Melvin J Moore

Thank you Governor deal for always being a man of reason

John Weeks
John Weeks

Another fine example of the loss of anything resembling the rights reserved to a private entity the instant any form of government funding is involved. I make no comment regarding homosexual or heterosexual. My comment is solely based on the dictates given a private organization as a result of that organization's receiving monies from the State (Federal or local).

Tray Turner
Tray Turner

They can do what they want if they leave the taxpayer out of it. I do not want my tax dollars to support bigotry, intolerance and no compassion for modern families. What you propose is a fine example of hypocrisy and uncharitable and unchristian hate and fear mongering.

John Weeks
John Weeks

You completely missed the point. Not much point in continuing the conversation as I doubt you would even hear what I was trying to say. Good day

Andy Aultman
Andy Aultman

Why same sex couples love just as good as straight couples

Atheists of Rome GA
Atheists of Rome GA

Maybe more because they have almost always been denied the opportunity.

Tom Alfred
Tom Alfred

If facts matter... Every major professional organization in this country whose focus is the health and well-being of children and families has reviewed the data on outcomes for children raised by lesbian and gay couples, including the methods by which the data were collected, and have concluded that these children are not disadvantaged compared to children raised in heterosexual parent households. Organizations expressing support for parenting, adoption, and/or fostering by lesbian and gay couples include (but are not limited to): American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Psychoanalytic Association, American Psychological Association, Child Welfare League of America, National Association of Social Workers, and the Donaldson Adoption Institute. It’s not the gender of the parent that’s the key. It’s the quality of parenting that’s being offered by whoever is there, husband or wife, two women, two men, a single parent, as long as these factors are present: good mental health, good parent-child relationships, what we call an authoritative parenting style, which is warmth, stimulation, structure, and the availability of resources. Then we’re going to have a child who is much more likely to be healthy.

Tom Alfred
Tom Alfred

By the way Rob Miller kindly consider that "Marriage" is defined NOT by exclusion (think about all of societies deplorable’s if that were true) or by the identities (race, sex, procreative ability) of its participants. Instead, que the drum roll....."Marriage" is defined by the mutual “rights and responsibilities” afforded couples by LAW. Thinking for a moment, that is quite a concept, no? It is hard to imagine such a thing perhaps. Moreover, the US Constitution doesn't enshrine so called wisdom of millennia, rather it enshrines equal protection of laws for ALL citizens of the United States of America. Sixteen times since 1888, the United States Supreme Court has stated that marriage is a fundamental right of ALL individuals. In these cases, the Court has reaffirmed that “freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage” is “one of the liberties protected by the Constitutions Due Process Clause,” “essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men,” and “sheltered by the Fourteenth Amendment against the State’s unwarranted usurpation, disregard, or disrespect.”

Josie Redwine
Josie Redwine

I am an adoptive mother and an adoption attorney. I have handled 4000+ adoptions. For years I hosted a biannual camping weekend for families (mostly my clients) who had adopted internationally, which requires rigorous screening by at least three levels of state, federal, and foreign gov't. This event was a total joy for me until the year I invited one of my delightful same-sex couple parents to attend. They were lovely, participating enthusiastically and appropriately in every contest and game and bringing lots of energy and joy to the weekend. What spoiled it for me was a small group of conservative Christian attendees who banded together and wanted to craft a "mission statement" that would serve to exclude this adopted child and his family. I told them my party, my rules, and my mission: if you have the heart and fortitude to pursue international adoption, you are welcome in my world.

Lynn Bollinger
Lynn Bollinger

I'd like to agree with him but I fear his hidden agendas.

Allen Yuhas
Allen Yuhas

I dont think there is a hidden agenda in granting everyone the same rights from discrimination and also to help willing poeple take children out of a terrible foster care system.

Lynn Bollinger
Lynn Bollinger

I agree. There shouldn't be. I just don't trust Deal. His great arguments for education have all been to his advantage if you follow the money.

palepadre
palepadre

Private : a company that is NOT owned by the government. A adoption agency, that does not want to place children with same sex couples, whether they get government funding or not would likely face a lawsuit.  Chances are, the majority of children up for adoption here m the United States are African American, Black.  One problem with local adoption, is the Mother(Unlikely the man who fathered the child will show up, due to getting hit with child support obligations.) Could possibly after the child is beyond the stages of being a baby. Potty trained, which means no more diapers. Will file to get her child back. Or the Grand Parents. will. Angelina and Brad have 3 Bio children,  and 3 adopted. From Cambodia and Ethiopia  Ain't likely to happen, if you have a lot of money and can adopt out of the U.S. Also, crack babies are unlikely to be adopted. I'm afraid the only solution is to return to orphanages, for unadoptable children. Funding ? DNA Test child, run that through the DNA data base, every 3 months. When you get a match, come down on the Father like a ton of bricks. Garnish, or seize any property.


Trackbacks

  1. […] Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia is fighting against the addition of some cagey language into an adoption bill this past week. This language, which would allow same-sex applicants to be rejected for no reason, was rejected previously under the guise of a ‘religious liberty’ proposal. […]

    Like