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Taylor Swift Funds LGBT Advocacy Group

Singer Taylor Swift, who grew up in Nashville, gave $113,000 to Tennessee Equality Project, an LGBT organization that lobbies at the state Capitol.

Along with the donation, Swift sent a note to Executive Director Chris Sanders that said, “Dear Chris, I’m writing you to say that I’m so inspired by the work you do, specifically in organizing the recent petition of Tennessee faith leaders standing up against the ‘Slate of Hate’ in our state legislature.”

That “slate” includes a bill to prevent adoption/foster care placement agencies from being sued for not placing children with same-sex couples if doing so is based on religious or moral conviction, as well as Family Action of Tennessee’s Business Protection Act and School Protection Act.

Last year, Swift broke her silence concerning her personal political views to endorse Phil Bredesen for Senate over then-Congressman Marsha Blackburn and said in reference to Blackburn’s viewpoint, “These are not MY Tennessee values.”

Well, Ms. Swift, we say in reference to what you are now endorsing, “These are not OUR Tennessee values.”

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Faith-Based Adoption Agencies Get Support in the TN House

The House passed HB 836 by a vote of 67-22 on Monday.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Tim Rudd (R-Murfreesboro), protects faith-based adoption and foster care agencies that, on the basis of their religious conviction, believe placing children in homes with same-sex couples is not in the child’s best interest.

Passage of the bill means these agencies cannot be sued if their decision not to place children with homosexual couples is based on such a religious conviction.

The Senate companion bill, SB 1304 by Sen. Mark Pody (R-Lebanon), is scheduled to be heard on the last calendar of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has not yet been set.

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South Carolina Granted Waiver for Faith-Based Foster Placement

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) granted a waiver requested by South Carolina’s governor from an Obama-era anti-discrimination rule that applied to foster care placement agencies.

Specifically, the regulation would have required Miracle Hill Ministries, the largest foster placement agency in the state, to place children in non-Christian homes, contrary to its religious beliefs and in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The waiver is conditioned on the agency referring potential foster parents to another foster placement agency that will place children in non-Christian homes.

Terry Schilling, executive director of American Principles Project, said in a statement, “ We applaud HHS for their effort to protect faith-based foster care providers, and we urge HHS and the Trump administration to continue their efforts to undo this discriminatory regulation in order to preserve the freedom of these providers to continue their important work.”

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