South Dakota Governor Signs Religious Protection Bill

March 13, 2017

 

 

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard signed into law a bill that will allow taxpayer funded agencies to refuse to provide any service if it conflicts with the agency’s religious or moral beliefs. 

 

Such services include adoption agencies or foster care services. This means child placement agencies can turn away LGBTQ couples who want to adopt, couples that have different religious beliefs (such as being Muslim), a re-married person who was previously divorced, or deny an extended family member from taking care of a child.  

 

The bill was criticized by the HRC Human Rights Campaign and the ACLU — they said LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in the foster care system and many of them are rejected by their families because they are LGBTQ and that this bill would only make it easier for them to be mistreated in the system. They said the law would also allow agencies to deny to provide medical services to LGBTQ children.

 

Gov. Daugaard is a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) and is fluent in ASL. He previously sparked controversy within the NAD (National Association of the Deaf) when he was invited to speak at a 2012 NAD Biennial Conference in Kentucky. Some members were opposed to it because of the state’s ban against same-sex marriage. Daugaard ended up withdrawing from going, saying there was a schedule conflict. He was later invited again by NAD delegates at that conference to present at a 2014 conference, but did not attend. 

 

Bill Passage News Article: http://bit.ly/2lPnKed

NAD Reference: http://bit.ly/2n1rPLX /// http://bit.ly/2mCzn5i

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