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Adoption Bill UPDATE: Bill fails, goes to conference committee

Greetings all –

In a vote on the House floor late this afternoon, HB 2481, the bill carrying Senate-passed anti-LGBT adoption amendments, failed by a vote of 58 in favor to 64 opposed.  The bill will now be sent to a House/Senate conference committee, where differences between the House version, which contained no anti-LGBT language, will be reconciled with the Senate version.

Equality Kansas will be working with members of the conference committee next week to remove language we find discriminatory.  We’ll keep you updated on progress.

Until then, it’s critical that you write and call your senators and representatives, and urge them to oppose discriminatory language in the bill.

If you do not know who your legislators are, you can find out at this handy link: https://openstates.org/.  You can find the full list of senators here http://kslegislature.org/li/b2017_18/chamber/house/roster/, and your representatives here http://kslegislature.org/li/b2017_18/chamber/senate/roster/.

A few important points:

• The proponents of this bill are claiming Equality Kansas wants to shut down private adoption agencies.  This is false.  Our position is faith-based agencies should keep doing what they are doing, just not with taxpayer funds.

• The proponents also claim Equality Kansas will stop birth mothers from having a say in the kinds of families who adopt their children.  This is also false.  Birth mothers have input in private placements.  In “child in need of care” placements, which are situations where parental rights have been severed by the state, birth mothers have no input.  The Kansas Department for Children and Families has removed these children from their homes, and contracts with private agencies to place children who are in the state’s custody.  That’s the way the system works, and Equality Kansas has nothing to do with those decisions.

• Our objection to this bill is the use of tax dollars going to placement agencies who in turn will deny our families the right to adopt.  This is unfair and discriminatory, and is why we oppose this bill.  If the discriminatory language is removed, we will support passage of the remainder of the bill.

If you are interested in reading the bill as amended by the Senate, you can find it here: http://kslegislature.org/li/b2017_18/measures/documents/hb2481_01_0000.pdf .  The language we object to is Section (d) on page 1.

For more information, see our previous post at https://eqks.org/action-alert-help-stop-the-adoption-religious-freedom-bill/

Please, make your calls.  Send your emails.  We are close, very close, to stopping this discriminatory bill.

Thank you for your support!


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