happy new year

Tennessee kicks off 2020 by passing a bill that allows adoption agencies to deny same-sex couples

It’s a new year and a new decade. The future is racing forward. But lawmakers in Tennessee are hellbent on returning to the past.

The Tennessee state Senate kicked off its 2020 legislative session by passing its very first bill of the year: a new measure that grants religious adoption agencies the legal right to discriminate against same-sex couples.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Paul Rose, declares that licensed adoption agencies can deny eligible candidates from adopting if they “violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions or policies” in any way.

Not only that, but the bill protects adoption agencies from being sued for discriminating against would-be parents on the basis of religion.

Oh, and on top of that, it also declares that the state can’t deny an agency’s license or grant application for public funds because of it refuses to place children in need in loving homes based on religious objections.

The state House already passed the bill last April. This week, the state Senate passed it by a margin of 20-6. It will now make its way to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk for his official stamp of approval.

When asked yesterday whether he supported the bill, Lee declined to comment; however, his office later said the governor plans on be signing it as soon as it reaches his desk.

Related: Tennessee just snuck through a law to chip away at marriage equality and hardly anyone noticed