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SD Senate Considers Bill For Faith-Based Child Placement Agencies To Use Religious Discretion

Melissa Hamersma Sievers

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard says he’s undecided on a bill that expands protections for faith based child placement agencies.
Proponents say the bill protects the adoption and foster parent agencies’ religious freedoms.
Critics say the measure allows discrimination against same-sex couples who want to become foster parents or adopt.
Daugaard says many faith-based agencies accept federal money, which bars them from discrimination based on race and sexuality…
“Those other agencies that act in the private sector without any state involvement, they presumably would be able to rely upon the state law… whether that would be constitutional or not, I don’t know.”
Senators took up the bill Thursday, but delayed voting on it to further consider impacts of the Indian Child Welfare Act.
The full senate will debate the bill on Wednesday.