Singer Rufus Wainwright urges Tennessee to take advantage of the ‘great force’ of gay adoption

Rufus Wainwright

The acclaimed singer and songwriter Rufus Wainwright has shared his sadness at a new Tennessee bill that allows religious adoption agencies to deny service to queer couples.

Tennessee governor Bill Lee signed the controversial measure last week, which enshrines the right for adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples on the basis of “religious liberty”.

Earlier this week Wainwright and his husband Jörn Weisbrodt were approached by the tabloid TMZ. The couple were briefly asked for their views on the contentious new bill.

Weisbrodt replied first: “It’s horrible… you know, this is about love, gay people love, and you love your child. How can you suppress love? It’s universal and not tied to gender.”

Wainwright agreed, and urged Tennesseans to take advantage of the fact that so many LGBT+ couples are ready and able to provide loving homes to children who need it.

“I actually strongly think that the concept of gay people adopting children is one of the great forces that needs be taken advantage of and promoted,” he said. “Because there are so many people who need to be loved and need help, and gay people are always willing to help.”

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, on any given day around 437,000 children are living in the foster care system, and the numbers are continuing to rise.

LGBT+ advocates have raised concern that the true impact of the Tennessean bill will be felt by children, many of whom are likely to remain in the adoptive and foster care system for far longer now that restrictions are being placed on families who could provide loving care.

Wainwright has a daughter himself, whom he is raising with the daughter of legendary singer Leonard Cohen. He is also the son of musicians Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, and the older brother of singer Martha Wainwright.