Republican Senators Introduce Bill to Protect Faith-Based Foster Care Providers from Discrimination

Milton Quintanilla | Contributor for | Friday, March 12, 2021
Senator Tim Scott, Senators Scott and James Lankford introduce legislation protecting faith-based foster care agencies

Republican Senators Introduce Bill to Protect Faith-Based Foster Care Providers from Discrimination

On Wednesday, Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and James Lankford (R-OK) introduced the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act which aims to ensure protections for faith-based child welfare providers from discrimination over their religious beliefs.

According to CBN News, Senator Lankford explained that faith-based child welfare organizations “are an integral part of the larger system that helps kids find a safe and permanent home.” Therefore, he argued, the organizations “should not be compelled to set aside their deeply held religious beliefs to serve children and families alongside government.”

Lankford argued that there is “no reason” that the nation cannot have both “faith-based options and non-faith-based options to help children in a crisis.”

"We can help place children in good homes while not discriminating against those who choose to live their faith,” he asserted. “Unfortunately, the Biden administration and some in Congress have taken the position that you have to check your faith at the door if you want to help children in need of a forever home."

He continued, “we need all the help we can get serving our most vulnerable kids."

Meanwhile, Sen. Scott contended that the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act is a “necessary protection” for people of faith.

“In South Carolina and across the country, faith-based foster care providers support the 400,000 children in our foster care system who—through no fault of their own—have nowhere else to go," he said.

Both Republican Senators were joined in introducing the bill by 21 Republican Senators, including Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Ted Cruz (R-TX).

Similarly, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) also introduced companion legislation in the House on Wednesday.

“Several state and local governments are requiring faith-based adoption agencies to choose between helping kids and violating their religious faith," Kelly warned. "This blatant attack on the First Amendment makes it even harder for children to find loving homes. We must stand up for kids, protect these organizations, and defend religious liberty. I am proud to author this legislation."

Faith-based organizations such as the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Heritage Action, and the Family Research Council have all extended their support to both House and Senate bills.

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Drew Angerer/Staff

Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.