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New SC law allows foster agencies to choose foster parents based on religion

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By MADELINE MONTGOMERY, WPDE

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WPDE) - Foster agencies in South Carolina can now be more selective of the foster parents with whom they work. Gov. Henry McMaster recently issued an executive order that will let foster agencies choose parents based on their religion.

In a tweet, he said, "As long as I'm your governor, I will not allow anyone to take away your religious liberties. Today I signed an executive order that will ensure the rights of individuals and organizations to religious freedom."

National human rights groups like the Human Rights Campaign, Child Welfare League of America, and the Family Equality Council all have spoken out against such legislation, saying it can allow agencies to discriminate based on sexual orientation and lower the number of people able to foster.

Alabama, Michigan, Mississippi, Virginia, North Dakota and South Dakota all have similar laws about religious discrimination.

Foster mother Aundrea Rue doesn't think this will hurt the number of foster parents in South Carolina.

"Ultimately, anyone who qualifies to foster and wants to foster can totally do it through the state with DSS," said Rue.

She hopes this will not stop people from trying to foster.

"We need more people to foster that genuinely love children and have their best interests at heart," said Rue.

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