Religious exemption for child welfare services advances

A Nebraska bill protecting child placement groups that refuse to work with same-sex foster parents moves forward. File photo.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A legislative committee has advanced a bill that would prevent the state from punishing faith-based child placement groups in Nebraska that refuse to work with same-sex foster parents.

The bill advanced on a 5-3 vote Friday after a heated debate among committee members. Two senators stormed out of the room immediately after the vote, and Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha says he intends to mount a filibuster to try to block the measure.

Sen. Mark Kolterman of Seward has said he introduced the bill to ensure Nebraska keeps a strong network of child placement agencies, some of which are religious and object to same-sex marriage.

Opponents say the sweeping religious exemption would allow discrimination in the state's foster care system.


The bill is LB975


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

The Gayly- 3/18/2016 @ 10:50 AM CST