South Dakota Bill Providing Protections for Religious Child-Placement Agencies (SB 149)

This law was last updated on Mar 31, 2017


This law is Anti–LGBTQ

State

South Dakota

Number

SB 149

Status

Signed into Law

Proposed

Feb 1, 2017

Topics

Conscience and Refusal Clauses, LGBTQ, Religious Freedom

Full Bill Text

sdlegislature.gov

SB 149 would prohibit the state from requiring a child-placement agency to provide any service that conflicts with any sincerely-held religious belief or moral conviction of the child-placement agency.

The bill would prohibit the state from discriminating or taking any adverse action against a child-placement agency or an organization seeking to become a child-placement agency on the basis, wholly or partly, that the child-placement agency has declined or will decline to provide any service that conflicts with, or provide any service under circumstances that conflict with a sincerely-held religious belief or moral conviction of the child-placement agency.

The bill provides that any faith-based or religious child-placement agency that enters into a contract with the state or participates in a state benefit program for child-placement services shall retain the agency’s independence from the state, including:

  • the child-placement agency’s control over the definition, development, practice, and expression of the agency’s religious beliefs and moral convictions;
  • the agency’s hiring and employment practices; and
  • decisions as to whether any child-placement service conflicts with any sincerely-held religious belief or moral conviction of the agency.

The bill would not allow a child-placement agency to decline to provide a service on the basis of a person’s race, ethnicity, or national origin. The bill fails to extend the same protections regarding sexual orientation or gender identity.

Under this law, child-placement agencies would be allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples or LGBTQ individuals looking to adopt.

STATUS

Passed the senate on February 22, 2017, by a 22-12 vote.

Passed the house on March 2, 2017, by a 43-20 vote.

Signed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) on March 10, 2017.


People

Co-sponsor

Primary Sponsor