Gov. Lee signs adoption bill allowing some adoption agencies to deny LGBT families

TENNESSEE — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a controversial adoption bill which allows some adoption agencies to deny LGBT families.

Related: Tennessee governor signs anti-LGBT adoption bill

The bill will allow privately licensed agencies to deny adoptions to same-sex couples based on the agency’s religious or moral beliefs.

In a statement to FOX13, the office of Gov. Lee wrote:

“The governor believes that protection of rights is important, especially religious liberty. This bill is centered around protecting the religious liberty of Tennesseans and that’s why he signed it.”

—  The office of Gov. Bill Lee

Related: Gov. Lee expected to sign controversial bill allowing some adoption agencies to deny LGBT families

The Tennessee Equality Project, a statewide non-profit, hoped Governor Bill Lee would veto the bill.

“We’re talking about thousands of Tennessean children who need loving homes and... we’re taking about couples, families who are willing to sacrifice to provide those loving homes and their own state is saying we’re turning your back,” said Shahin Samiei with the Tennessee Equity Project.

One of the bill’s supporters, Senator Paul Rose, told FOX13 in a written statement last week, “This bill gives faith-based adoption agencies more protection to continue the work they have done for decades without fear they will be forced out of business, as has been in several states.”