This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 6, 2023:
Jessica Bates, a widowed mother of five children, applied to Oregon's Department of Human Services (DHS) for permission to adopt two more, preferably siblings. When the department learned she was a Christian and that she wouldn't kowtow to its progressive demands, it turned her down.
On Monday, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed suit, claiming the agency's policy violates Bates' first amendment rights and demanding that the court rule it unconstitutional. The 41-page complaint spells out in graphic detail the war between the state and Jesus Christ.
Bates, a believer who attends a nondenominational Christian church with her five children, ages 10 to 17, who were left behind when her husband, David, was killed in a car crash six years ago, felt she had room in her home and her heart for at least two more youngsters. She remembered the Biblical command in James 1:27 “to visit orphans and widows in their affliction,” and began the process to adopt.
She was partway through that lengthy, year-long process when she discovered the offending demand from the state:
Applicants must respect, accept and support the … sexual orientation, gender identity, [and] gender expression … of a child … and provide opportunities to enhance the positive self-concept and understanding of the child's … heritage.
This would mean exposing the adopted children to the full force of the LGBTQ+ agenda, with pride flags, emblems, and attendance at pride festivals, and even allowing gender-altering drugs to be administered when “necessary.”
She alerted her contact at the DHS (Cecilia Garcia, named in the complaint) about the potential problem via email:
Cecilia … [t]here is one thing that I feel I need to mention to you. One of the things the training really emphasized is SOGI (sexual orientation gender identity) and that the host must respect, accept, and support children whose preferred pronouns & identity don't match their biological sex.
I don't know how many children there are out there under the age of 9 who fall into this category (and to me it's kind of crazy that society is wanting to get kids thinking about this stuff at such young ages; I think we should let them keep their innocence), so this may not even be an issue, but I need to let you know I cannot support this behavior in a child.
I have no problem loving them and accepting them as they are, but I would not encourage them in this behavior.
I believe God gives us our gender/sex and it's not something we get to choose.
Basically, my faith conflicts with this & I just felt that I needed to let you know.
That email, for all intents and purposes, ended Bates' effort to obtain permission from Oregon's DHS to adopt a couple of children. She has the letter to prove it. As the complaint noted:
In its final denial letter to Jessica, the Department stated that it “expects every applicant to be open to any child regardless of race, ethnicity and cultural identity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression,” but not spiritual beliefs.
Jonathan Scruggs, senior counsel for ADF, was clear about the violation of Bates' rights:
Oregon's policy amounts to an ideological litmus test: people who hold secular or “progressive” views on sexual orientation and gender identity are eligible to participate in child welfare programs, while people of faith with religiously informed views are disqualified because they don't agree with the state's orthodoxy.
The government can't exclude certain communities of faith from foster care and adoption services because the state doesn't like their particular religious beliefs.
The ADF complaint points out that Oregon's DHS policy is specifically targeted to Christians such as Bates:
On paper, the state requires applicants to “accept” and “support” the “spiritual beliefs” and “cultural identities” of any child.…
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 ADF reminds the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, Pendleton Division, that “Jessica's desire to engage in certain speech like sharing her faith with her children, refraining from certain speech like neopronouns, associating with certain groups like her church, and avoiding associating with certain groups like Pride parades, are each protected under the free speech or Freedom of Assembly Clauses [in the First Amendment to the U.S. constitution].”
Accordingly, the ADF requested that the court declare that the state's policy violates Bates' rights “to free speech, free association, assembly, religious exercise, and equal protection of the law,” and to “stop Defendants … from enforcing the state's policy.”
Progressives continue to use the government to enforce their ideology on citizens like Jessica Bates. They must use that force, because believers in Jesus Christ — such as Bates — won't submit to that ideology willingly.