Senator Marty Harbin, seen here addressing Georgia Baptist pastors last year, introduced a bill yesterday that guarantees faith-based adoption agencies the security of not being forced to violate their faith.
ATLANTA — A bill brought forward yesterday looks to allow faith-based adoption agencies to continue their work unimpeded without worry of compromising their religious beliefs.
SB 368 was introduced by Sen. Marty Harbin (R-Tyrone).
“This legislation will protect the freedom of choice for the mother in placing her child with an agency that is line with her culture and her values,” Harbin shared in a press release. “It will also protect the freedom of expression for the agency. And most importantly, it will help ensure that as many children as possible find a safe and loving home.”
The role of faith-based adoption agencies and the freedoms they’re afforded have seen more time in the courtroom lately. In January Tennessee senators approved legislation that would prohibit the state from coercing faith-based adoption agencies from placing children in homes that violate the agency’s “written religious or moral conviction or policies.” That bill passed the House last year and was signed into law by Governor Bill Lee on Jan. 24.
Last year faith-based adoption agencies in Michigan received a preliminary injunction to prevent the state from canceling its contract with St. Vincent Catholic Charities. Those threats by the state came after the group refused to place children with same-sex couples due to its belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman.
Last year in Georgia, a similar bill also introduced by Harbin failed to advance. “I’m going to find a way if I can and try to make it happen,” he said at the time.
In early January Governor Brian Kemp told the AJC that he would not try to pre-emptively block such legislation but deal with it “when the time comes.”
Scott Barkley serves as editor of The Christian Index.