Controversial adoption bill on governor's desk

TULSA -- A Senate bill that has people talking is now on Gov. Mary Fallin's desk. It would cover child-placing agencies that block adoptive parents who do not meet the agencies’ religious or moral standards. 

In 2017, Oklahomans for Equality said they served more than 67,000 people, and leaders said not one penny of tax dollar money was used to fund it. They question why tax dollars should be used to fund someone else's position.

It's Friday, and Toby Jenkins says he’s had quite the week. Some of it was spent at the Capitol. Jenkins wants to make it clear, while adoption rules are a concern, it’s also about the use of tax dollars.

“I did not sign up for my tax dollars to be used to find someone else’s religion," he said.

Opponents of Senate Bill 1140 say it allows religious-based adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples.

“These private agencies are wanting to use our tax dollars to add their doctrine. Their moral position in how they are selecting homes for these children," Jenkins said.

Sena. Greg Treat authored the bill and said it doesn’t deny the right of any qualified person to adopt or foster a child, increases the pool of participants and protects those who already are participating.

“I read my bible and prayed this morning and I go to church every Sunday," Jenkins said.

The Catholic Conference of Oklahoma lobbied for the bill and say it does not prohibit same-sex adoption. They claim it would offer the same protections to a more aggressive church that may in the future want to open an adoption agency to cater to same-sex adoption.

Jenkins says if Governor Mary Fallin signs it, there’s trouble ahead.

"This is going to cost the state a lawsuit," he said.

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