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Woman sues Oregon for denying her application to foster kids because she’s anti-LGBTQ+

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A Christian woman is suing the state of Oregon for denying her application to foster and adopt children after she said she would not affirm any LGBTQ+ kids placed in her home.

Jessica Bates, a widow and a mother of five, alleges that the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) discriminated against her religion and violated her right to free speech by requiring that foster parents affirm LGBTQ+ youth.

The lawsuit says that Bates “alerted the Department that she will gladly love and accept any child for who they are, but she cannot say or do anything against her Christian faith” and that when she “stood her ground,” her application was rejected.

It explained Bates’s Christian faith is what kept her going after her husband was killed in a brutal car crash in 2017. It added that Bates was inspired to apply to foster/adopt children after hearing about a man who did so while listening to a Christian broadcast.

“Jessica felt as though God was speaking to her,” it said. She felt a calling to help kids in need – but only if they weren’t LGBTQ+.

The lawsuit also lays out her anti-LGBTQ+ beliefs, explaining that she feels “a person cannot choose his or her gender”; that “a person should not go by pronouns that contradict or obscure their biological sex”; and that “marriage is the life-long union of one man and one woman.”

The suit called DHS’s acceptance policy “an ideological litmus test” that only allows people with “correct” views to adopt.

“A family that hunts need not give up meat eating because some children are vegans,” it continued. “And Jews need not accommodate foreign gods because some children desire a home with a Hindu shrine. In the end, the only group excluded from the process up front are those with religious beliefs like Jessica’s. Conservative Christians need not apply.”

The suit was filed on behalf of Bates by the virulently anti-LGBTQ+ organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a Southern Poverty Law Center designated hate group.

ADF has joined with like-minded organizations in Europe in support of the forced sterilization of transgender individuals and has represented numerous anti-LGBTQ+ plaintiffs in pivotal legal battles for LGBTQ+ rights. The organization has also been a large force behind the anti-abortion movement.

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