RELIGION

Texas adoption bill OK's rejection of non-Christian parents

State-funded adoption agencies backing Texas legislation that would sanction the rejection of prospective parents on religious grounds freely admit they already routinely deny non-Christian, gay, and unmarried applicants because they are wary of their beliefs or lifestyle.

The organizations are paid by the state to place foster children with adoptive families. They want to continue the practice and are seeking legal protections through Texas' "Freedom to Serve Children Act," which is up for consideration Tuesday in the GOP-controlled House.

The bill would be the nation's second allowing state-funded adoption agencies to reject families on religious grounds. South Dakota passed similar legislation in March.

Sponsors say it protects religious objections already being raised by adoption agencies. But civil groups say it sanctions discrimination.