Legislation being introduced today to protect faith-based adoption and foster care agencies from being forced to place children in the homes of same-sex couples should be supported by Americans interested in “raising children the right way,” the bill’s sponsor told The Daily Signal.

Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., called the measure “common sense legislation” that protects the best interest of children by allowing them to have a home with a mother and a father who are married to each other.

“If it’s truly about the kids, if it’s truly about raising children the right way, then you can’t possibly feel the way some of these folks feel. It’s just impossible,” Kelly said of those who want to punish adoption agencies that operate under  traditional religious beliefs and moral values.

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In some states, sexual orientation laws, coupled with the redefinition of marriage or the creation of same-sex civil unions, restrict the freedom and threaten the existence of private foster care and adoption providers who believe children are better off with a married mother and father.

“I wasn’t raised that way, and I don’t think most of America was,” Kelly said in an exclusive interview Monday after speaking at  The Heritage Foundation.

As for the argument by gay rights activists and other opponents that his bill would allow discrimination against same-sex couples?  “I don’t think there’s anything further from the truth,” the Pennsylvania Republican said.

Under his bill, the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act,  agencies that meet basic requirements for protecting the welfare of children should be free to operate according to their values, especially religiously informed beliefs about marriage.

“When did it ever get to the point that people of faith and organizations of faith should be discriminated against when it comes to adopting children or foster care?” Kelly asked.

The bill also states that the freedom of private, faith-based adoption organizations does not prohibit individuals and couples from turning to state-run or other private providers that do not operate by the same principles.

Watch the video, which Alex Anderson co-produced, for the full interview.