(Abdul–Rahman Oladimeji Bello, Headline USA) The Oregon Department of Human Services denied the application of a mother of five seeking to adopt children because of her religious beliefs.
According to Oregon’s policy regarding adoption, a family looking to adopt a child must “respect, accept, and support” the sexual orientation and gender identity of that child. The Alliance Defending Freedom noted, however, that the department denied Jessica Bates’s application because she was a Christian who refused the idea of Oregon’s gender ideology.
A lawsuit filed by ADF attorneys Monday on Bates’s behalf stated that ODHS refused her application, though she noted that she was willing to love and accept any child but could not act against her Christian faith.
ADF’s report noted that the state’s policy excludes people who only believe in the biological reality regarding gender. In this regard, ADF Senior Counsel Jonathan Scruggs, director of the ADF Center for Conscience initiatives, expressed displeasure, noting that such a policy only reduced the number of families able to provide loving homes.
“Oregon’s policy amounts to an ideological litmus test: people who hold secular or ‘progressive’ views on sexual orientation and gender identity are eligible to participate in child welfare programs, while people of faith with religiously informed views are disqualified because they don’t agree with the state’s orthodoxy,” said Scruggs.
“The government can’t exclude certain faith communities from foster care and adoption services because the state doesn’t like their particular religious beliefs,” Scruggs said.
In the press release, ADF legal counsel Johannes Widmalm-Delphonse asserted that Oregon’s criteria about parents fit to adopt children is unjust.
“Oregon is putting its political agenda above the needs of countless children who would be happy to grow up in a loving, Christian home like Jessica’s,” the legal counsel said.
“We urge the court to remind the state of its constitutional and moral obligations and reaffirm Jessica’s First Amendment right to live out her faith without being penalized by the government.”