Sen. Loeffler backs a rabidly anti-LGBTQ adoption agency — with a big check

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The wealthy Republican gave thousands to an organization that asks prospective parents to agree to a bigoted "statement of faith."

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) gave $3,800 to an adoption agency that asks prospective adoptive parents to abide by a "statement of faith" that strongly discriminates against LGBTQ people.

Loeffler, the wealthiest person in Congress, donated part of her congressional salary this year to the Georgia-based Covenant Care Adoptions, BuzzFeed News reported Wednesday.

The Covenant Care Adoptions website explains to prospective parents that "both husband and wife must be professing Christians and regularly attending members of the same evangelical church."

Its page on the adoption process further directs applicants to agree to a statement of faith, which rejects transgender people and lesbian, bisexual, and gay people.

Parents must agree that "God created Adam and Eve male and female in His own image as the crown of creation and entrusted them and their descendants with the cultural mandate to subdue and populate the earth," the statement says. They must also agree that "God created the institution of marriage between one man and one woman as His ordained means of filling the earth with His image bearers."

The agency also provides a statement on marriage, gender, and sexuality that clarifies in depth the beliefs prospective parents must hold in order to adopt with the agency, which includes the disapproval of transgender people.

"Rejection of ones biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person," the adoption agency explains.

On LGB people, it says that "God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other," and adds that "bisexual conduct" and "homosexual behavior" is "sinful and offensive to God." It compares being LGB with incest and bestiality.

In addition to discouraging any LGBTQ families from adopting children through the agency, the statement of faith also threatens the wellbeing of LGBTQ children who may be adopted through the agency.

Research has found that parental support of transgender adolescents is associated with fewer depressive symptoms and higher life satisfaction and that family rejection of transgender and gender non-conforming people is associated with higher odds of suicide attempts and substance misuse.

LGB young people who come from families with higher rates of family rejection also have higher attempted suicide rates compared to LGB youth who come from families with no or lower levels of rejection.

Loeffler's support for the agency fits her anti-trans record in the Senate. She is the lead sponsor of the Protection of Girls and Women in Sports Act, which threatens to take funding from schools that support transgender girls in sports. The bill requires schools to define sex by "solely on a person's reproductive biology and genetics at birth."

The Alliance Defending Freedom, which the Southern Poverty Law Center considers an anti-LGBTQ hate group, praised the legislation.

Loeffler also has a record of hiring anti-LGBTQ staffers, namely Paul Fitzpatrick, her deputy chief of staff. Fitzpatrick spent 20 years working for the Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has also designated as an anti-LGBTQ hate group.

News of Loeffler's donation to an anti-LGBTQ adoption agency comes in the midst of conservative efforts to shield transphobic and homophobic foster care agencies from nondiscrimination protections.

In August, the House Ways and Means Committee's Democratic majority released a report following an investigation of a Trump administration waiver granted to South Carolina in 2019, which provided the state's child welfare system an exemption from anti-discrimination regulations.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster (R) requested the waiver for the foster care provider Miracle Hill Ministries, which requires foster care parents to agree with its doctrinal statement that marriage must be between one man and one woman and that "God creates each person as either male or female." The committee report stated that the waiver had violated people's civil rights and harmed LGBTQ families and children, and should be withdrawn immediately.

The Supreme Court also recently heard arguments in a case involving anti-LGBTQ discrimination in foster care. The case, Fulton v. Philadelphia, features a group of foster parents and Catholic Social Services, a foster care provider, which is challenging Philadelphia's decision to no longer refer children to the agency. In 2018, the city found out that the Catholic Social Services was not willing to certify potential foster parents who were same-sex couples.

The ACLU has said the decision in this case could have major consequences for LGBTQ people's equal access to social services more broadly.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.