This Associated Press headline screams discrimination:
Texas adoption agencies could ban Jews, gays, Muslims
But is anti-Jewish, anti-gay and/or anti-Muslim discrimination really the emphasis of a Texas lawmaker's bill that he says is designed to protect the religious freedom of faith-based adoption agencies?
Or is the idea that, say, a Baptist ministry licensed by the state should be able to adhere to its "sincerely held religious beliefs" and choose only parents in keeping with its beliefs — meaning heterosexual, married, Christian couples?
AP — in a slanted report that illustrates why so many Americans doubt the mainstream press' ability to be fair and accurate — seems uninterested in telling both sides of the story.
From the beginning, the wire service report — which was touted on this morning's daily news email from The Dallas Morning News — seems mainly concerned with the perspective of gay-rights advocates:
Parents seeking to adopt children in Texas could soon be rejected by state-funded or private agencies with religious objections to them being Jewish, Muslim, gay, single, or interfaith couples, under a proposal in the Republican-controlled Legislature.
Five other states have passed similar laws protecting faith-based adoption organizations that refuse to place children with gay parents or other households on religious grounds — but Texas' rule would extend to state-funded agencies. Only South Dakota's is similarly sweepingly.
The bill had been scheduled for debate and approval Saturday in the state House, but lawmakers bogged down with other matters. It now is expected to come up next week.
Republican sponsors of Texas' bill say it is designed to support the religious freedom of adoption agencies and foster care providers. Many of the agencies are private and faith-based but receive state funds.
But opponents say it robs children of stable homes while funding discrimination with taxpayer dollars.
"This would allow adoption agencies to turn away qualified, loving parents who are perhaps perfect in every way because the agency has a difference in religious belief," said Catherine Oakley, senior legislative counsel for the Human Rights Campaign. "This goes against the best interest of the child."