After a lengthy debate, lawmakers approved the Adoption Protection Act, a proposal that will allow faith-based agencies to continue operating according to their faith. Gov. Jeff Colyer released a statement after midnight saying he will sign the bill.
Opponents argued the bill will use taxpayer funding to “discriminate.” Though Kansas doesn’t pay private adoption agencies like Catholic Charities for adoptions, the state sometimes reimburses parents who adopt from foster care.
Lawmakers took the opportunity to drop in references to the Holocaust and slavery. Diana Dierks, a Salina Republican, said she supports Catholic Charities, but not with tax dollars. Then she compared faith-based organizations to the SS, or Nazis.
“My husband is sitting up in the gallery. He is from Germany,” Dierks told House members. “He was born during World War II. His grandparents, under the guise of whether or not the SS was going to come to their door, hid Jewish families in their basement.”
She said his parents frequently moved the Jewish families from home to home to avoid detections. She said a list of faith based churches and organizations given to lawmakers would permit child welfare agencies to discriminate against children and perspective parents.
“We saw what happened in the 1940s,” Dierks said. “Let’s not let that happen again.”
Rep. Barbara Ballard, a Lawrence Democrat, said listening to the debate was difficult for her.
“Because Christian slaveholders used the Bible and their strongly-held religious beliefs to justify slavery,” she said.
She made no mention of abolitionists, who helped end slavery throughout the modern world. They were unequivocally motivated by their Christian faith, and one of the most famous, John Brown, is memorialized by a mural, “Tragic Prelude” in the Kansas Capitol.
The Adoption Protection Act squeaked through the House, 63-58. The vote stalled at 60 for a short time as lawmakers instituted a call of the House. They locked the chamber and waited until some absent members arrived to cast votes.
Senators had an easier go of passing the legislation. The Senate passed a similar bill earlier in the session, but it failed on first attempt in the House. Sen. David Haley, a Kansas City Democrat, called it a “vampire that just won’t die.”
Mainstream media has yet to mention Dierks’ and Ballards’ comparing the status quo in Kansas adoption policy to Nazis and slavery, but comments by Sen. Steve Fitzgerald, a Leavenworth Republican, earned individual reports.
During Senate debate, Fitzgerald said the necessity of the Adoption Protection Act marks a weigh station in civilizations’ decline. He said there is a homosexual agenda.
“And what was once tolerated is now becoming dominant and intolerant,” Fitzgerald said. “Totally intolerant.”