Pierre, SD - This morning the Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed SB 149 on a 5-2 vote. This bill would allow taxpayer-supported agencies to refuse to provide any service, including adoption or foster care placement, on the basis of the agency's religious beliefs or moral convictions.
The follow quote can be attributed to Libby Skarin, Policy Director of the ACLU of South Dakota:
"SB 149 would result in state-sanctioned discrimination against LGBT people, interfaith couples, single people, and more. Even worse, this bill works against the needs of vulnerable children in the foster care system in South Dakota by denying them access to good families and important services.
During the hearing this morning, South Dakota politicians brazenly drew false, offensive, and utterly discriminatory correlations between our LGBT, minority faith, and divorced community members to pedophiles and perpetrators of female gentian mutilation - both crimes that are already punishable under federal and state law. These aren't the values of the people of South Dakota, and we hope our legislators are aware that their constituents are paying attention now more than ever to what is being said at the Capitol.
Our legislators must take a stand for all South Dakotans - and especially vulnerable children - and ensure that discrimination doesn't get in the way of loving families seeking to provide homes for those who don't have them."