Pierre, SD – Today the South Dakota State Senate advanced SB 149 to the House on a 22-12 vote. This bill would allow taxpayer funded 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.

“This bill could prevent LGBT couples, interfaith couples, divorced people, and many otherwise qualified, loving families from adopting children under the guise of religious liberty – all on the taxpayer’s dime," said Libby Skarin, policy director of the ACLU of South Dakota. "Everyone has the right to their beliefs and to act on them, but that right doesn’t give anyone, including the government, a license to harm others. Protecting this type of discrimination by law hurts not only the caring families seeking to adopt, but also could deny children in the foster system access to important services and a loving home.”