ATLANTA (AP) — A proposal that would allow religious adoption agencies in Georgia to refuse to work with same-sex couples has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The contentious "religious liberties" bill passed the committee Tuesday by a vote of 5-2 and could soon face a vote before the full Georgia Senate.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the vote was split along party lines, with five Republicans supporting the measure and two Democrats opposing it.

The sponsor of the proposal, Sen. William Ligon, a Brunswick Republican, said the measure was needed to ensure that religious organizations could participate in the adoption process.

Opponents of the bill say it would effectively allow state-sponsored discrimination by adoption agencies. Sen. Elena Parent, an Atlanta Democrat, said the measure would discourage some parents from adopting.


Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,