Bill to ban discrimination against gay adoptive, foster parents has bipartisan support
The Every Child Deserves A Family Act would prohibit state programs that receive federal funding from discriminating against potential foster and adoptive families on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.
Proponents of the bill say that the momentum established by recent voter and legislative victories for same-sex marriage, coupled with increased support by GOP lawmakers, will give the measure the backing needed to pass in Congress this session.
The Family Equality Council said that Congressional sponsors will hold a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday to announce the bill.
In the House, the measure will be co-sponsored by Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.). Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.),is lead sponsor in the Senate.
According to the Family Equality Council, same-sex couples and LGBT individuals face considerable legal barriers in 39 states when attempting to adopt or foster children, and seven states ban a partner in a same-sex relationship from adopting their partner’s children.
“The current patchwork of state laws does a disservice to these children by denying them access to permanent, safe, and loving homes. In 2011, 26,000 youth “aged out” of the foster care system. Research shows that these youth are at a high risk for poverty, homelessness, incarceration, and early parenthood,” the Family Equality Council reports.