National

Lawmakers: Faith-based adoption groups can spurn gay couples

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama lawmakers on Tuesday gave final approval to a bill protecting faith-based adoption organizations that refuse to place children with gay parents, or other households, because of their religious beliefs.

The legislation would prohibit the state from refusing to license faith-based adoption groups that refuse placements because of their religious beliefs.

Proponents argued that the measure is needed to make sure adoption groups can operate without being forced to violate their religious beliefs, while critics, including the state’s only openly gay lawmaker, called it blatant discrimination.

The Alabama House of Representatives voted 87-0 to go along with a Senate change to the bill. The legislation goes to Gov. Kay Ivey for her signature. The governor hasn’t said whether she’ll sign it.

“It’s just making sure the faith-based child placing agencies aren’t discriminated against due to their beliefs. It’s not discriminating against anyone else,” Rep. Rich Wingo, the Republican sponsor of the bill, said.

The bill’s protections would apply only to private agencies that do not accept state or federal funds. Wingo said the bill would protect faith-based groups such as Agape and Baptist Children’s Homes, which do adoption and foster care placements.

State Rep. Patricia Todd, the state’s only openly gay lawmaker, said placements should be made on the best interest of the child and not on “some artificial demographic.”

“We have too many kids in foster care who need adoption, many of them with special needs. Same-sex parents want to adopt and take care of those children,” said Todd, D-Birmingham.

Todd said she voted to go along with a Senate change that said the protections wouldn’t apply to agencies that accepted state funds

South Dakota, Michigan, North Dakota and Virginia have passed similar laws.

David Dinielli, deputy legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a Montgomery-based civil rights group, called the legislation “prejudice cloaked in religion.”

“This law limits the number of homes available to Alabama’s most vulnerable kids by allowing foster and adoption agencies to turn away parents who don’t fit with the agencies’ religious beliefs, including parents who are unmarried, divorced, Muslim, LGBT or even Christian,” Dinielli said.

___

This story has been corrected to show that the vote was 87-0 and not 87-6.

Never miss another Facebook post from WISH-TV

MORE NATIONAL STORIES

How to make Apple Pie Tacos

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It’s dessert … in a taco shell!

Apple Pie Tacos are easy, delicious, and kids love them! 

Apple Pie Tacos

9 soft street-taco shells (see note below)
2 tablespoons raw sugar 
1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, divided 
5 ROCKIT® apples, skin left on and diced
2 tablespoon raw honey 
1 tablespoon lemon juice 
2 teaspoons cornstarch 
1/4 cup water, plus more
coconut whipped cream 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a plate, sprinkle raw sugar and cinnamon. Gently mix the two together. Spray both sides of the soft taco shells with nonstick cooking spray, then lightly dip both sides in the cinnamon mixture. 
2. Flip a muffin tin over. Place each cinnamon-coated soft taco shell between each of the muffin tins, so that the muffin-tin humps help the taco shell stay in place and formed. Place in the the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool completely. 
3. To make apple filling, combine chopped apples, honey, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a small saucepan. Stir cornstarch into the 1/4 cup water and add to the saucepan. Heat on medium for about 10 minutes until apples are completely softened and gooey-thick. You may need to add more water — about another 1/4 cup — as the apples cook to create a sauce-like mixture. 
4. Spoon the apple filling into each of the taco shells. Top with coconut whipped cream and a sprinkle cinnamon, or a little granola.  Enjoy immediately! 

Apple Pie Tacos (WISH Photo/Annessa Chumbley)

Note: A tortilla that’s about 3-4 inches across works great. If you need to, you can take a larger wheat tortilla, and cookie-cut it using a 3-4 inch small bowl. 

MORE STORIES

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK