The governor of Tennessee says he’ll approve a law granting faith-based adoption and foster care agencies legal cover to refuse same-sex couples and other prospective parents who offend the agencies’ own religious beliefs.
The state Senate passed the bill Tuesday, in its first vote of the 2020 legislative session, following the House’s approval last April, Nashville newspaper The Tennessean reports. It would limit the state from refusing licenses or grants to agencies that discriminate in the name of religion, and the agencies would also be protected from lawsuits. Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, intends to sign it as soon as it reaches its office, his staff told The Tennessean.
The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 20-6, with all five Democrats in the chamber voting against it. One Republican, Steve Dickerson, flanked the Democrats in opposing the bill, while five Republicans did not cast votes.
Dickerson and some other Republicans predicted that the legislation would follow in a boycott of Tennessee by businesses, sports leagues, and other event organizers. Regarding events such as the NFL draft and NBA playoffs, he stated, “I think we can kiss that goodbye.”