Washington D.C. The pressure is ramping up for religious liberty bills in Congress since the Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling over two weeks ago—allowing marriage equality.
One bill focuses on faith-based adoption agencies—and making sure they don’t get discriminated against.
“I just don’t believe our faith based and religious based agencies should be penalized because of what they truly believe what’s in their hearts and how they live their lives,” said Congressman Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania.
Congressman Mike Kelly is leading the effort on his “Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2015”. Kelly says it would end the government from discriminating against faith-based adoption agencies and foster care centers because of their religious beliefs.
“It’s kind of an anti-discrimination bill, and say no wait you can’t discriminate me because I believe what I believe, I mean that just lies against everything we believe as America as an exceptional nation,” said Kelly.
Kelly says there have been instances in 3 states (Illinois, California, Massachusetts) and the Disctrict of Columbia where the government has denied to give faith-based organizations contracts because they refused to provide services that went against their beliefs.
This bill is not getting a warm reception from Democrats—saying this is about discrimination and doesn't following the Supreme Court’s decision.
“I think those who are more extreme on this issue and don’t believe in equality are trying to find another way around the law. These are nothing more than not really veiled attempts to try and get to what they are trying to do which is go back to the battle days of discrimination,” said Congressman Mark Pocan from Wisconsin.
However Kelly says this has nothing to do with discrimination—he says it's all about the kids.
“Why would you want to exclude them, why would you want to discriminate against them? there’s been a long history to make sure everybody is included, so let’s make sure that we are keeping our eye on the ball and making sure we are concentrating on children and what’s best for them,” said Kelly.
House leadership is looking at this bill to see if it has enough support to get it to a committee—right now the bill has more than 80 co-sponsors.