In early February, the South Dakota legislature introduced SB149, a FADA (First Amendment Defense Act) style adoption bill. Despite the bill’s sponsor’s claim to the contrary, the impact of the legislation is clear. This bill will allow taxpayer funded adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

The bill summary states that it will “Provide certain protections to faith-based or religious child-placement agencies.” In fact, SB149 grants the right for taxpayer funded child-placement agencies to discriminate against children and families and deny children needed services based on the agency’s religious or moral beliefs. In addition, it virtually eliminates what the state may do in response to that discrimination.

The bill has been deferred pending an amendment, so the time to act is now. We encourage South Dakotans to contact their Senators, and more importantly, call the Capitol switchboard to have a note OPPOSING 149 placed on Senators’ desks. That number is 605-773-3821.

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Mel King

Mel King is the Development and Operations Manager for Equality Federation, the national strategic partner to state-based organizations working to win equality in the communities we call home. In this role, he manages the individual giving program and the donor database, as well as operations for the communications department and internal systems. He also serves as the board liaison.

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