MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama might protect faith-based adoption organizations that refuse to place children with gay parents or in certain other households because of their religious beliefs.
The Alabama Senate approved the bill Tuesday on a 22-9 vote.
The legislation prohibits the state from refusing to license or sign contracts with faith-based adoption groups that refuse placements because of their religious beliefs.
Sen. Bill Hightower, the Republican bill sponsor, said it would guarantee that the faith-based agencies can stay in business. State Rep. Patricia Todd, the state's only openly gay lawmaker, said it was blatant discrimination.
The House of Representatives approved the bill last month. However, it must return to the House after senators added an amendment.
South Dakota, Michigan, North Dakota and Virginia have passed similar laws.