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Buried in its massive 2017-2018 appropriations bill, H 4950, the South Carolina legislature snuck in a license to discriminate! In a bill that is over 500 pages, one paragraph was quietly inserted to allow taxpayer-funded child welfare providers to turn away qualified LGBTQ individuals and same-sex couples, people of different faiths, or unmarried individuals just because they do not meet the child welfare provider’s religious or moral litmus test. Such discriminatory language has been highly controversial and hotly debated in other states this session, but these legislators are trying to slip it past South Carolinians with no public debate – this is outrageous!
Turning away qualified families limits the pool of available stable and loving homes, making it harder for South Carolina’s most vulnerable children to find foster and adoptive placements. By hiding this provision in an appropriations bill, lawmakers are trying to slip this by the public eye without even hearing public comments or having a proper debate on a bill that has dire consequences to youth in foster care.