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Photo: Christian K. Lee/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Bethany Christian Services, one of the U.S.'s largest adoption and foster agencies, said Monday it will begin offering services to LGBTQ parents nationwide, effective immediately, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: It's a major shift for the 77-year-old evangelical organization which has traditionally referred LGBTQ parents to other agencies. The change comes as cities and states increasingly require agencies to work with LGBTQ parents at the risk of losing government contracts.

What they're saying: "We will now offer services with the love and compassion of Jesus to the many types of families who exist in our world today," Chris Palusky, the organization's president and chief executive wrote in an email per NYT. "We’re taking an 'all hands on deck' approach where all are welcome."

  • "It got to a point where it became really untenable to have this patchwork of practices," Nathan Bult, senior vice president of public and government affairs, told NYT. "Bethany was ready and Christians are ready."
  • Bethany facilitated 3,406 foster placements and 1,123 adoptions in 2019, according to NYT.

Bethany's position statement since 2007 has been that "God's design for the family is a covenant and lifelong marriage of one man and one woman."

  • Its inclusivity resolution, passed Jan. 21, eliminated the position statement on marriage between one man and one woman, but does not mention or endorse same-sex relationships.
  • Prior to Monday's announcement, Bethany referred gay couples to other agencies, though the practice was not official and branches in 12 states were already working with LGBTQ families as of last year.

The big picture: Over 20% of same-sex couples with children have an adopted child, compared to 3% of straight couples, according to a 2016 report from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.

  • Gay couples are also significantly more likely than straight couples to foster a child.
  • Though some faith-based agencies have challenged requirements in courts, between 2009 and 2019, white evangelical support for same-sex marriage nearly doubled from 2009 to 2019, Pew Research Center reports.

Go deeper

Dems' immigration plan hits major roadblock

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Sunday that Democrats cannot include pathways to citizenship in the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, per a copy of the ruling obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: It's a blow to Democrats who hoped to provide pathways for millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Using reconciliations would have allowed them to pass politically contentious immigration changes with only 50 votes, as opposed to the usual 60 required.

FBI says human remains found in Wyoming likely Gabby Petito

Gabby Petito. Photo: FBI

Human remains found in Teton County, Wyoming, are "consistent with the description of" missing 22-year-old Gabby Petito, said FBI Denver official Charles Jones at a news conference Sunday.

Details: The cause of death had yet to be determined, but Jones said: "Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100% that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified of this discovery." Authorities said they're continuing the search for her fiancé, Brian Laundrie.

Pelosi calls raising the debt ceiling a bipartisan responsibility

Photo: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a "dear colleague" statement Sunday evening, calling on Congress to act in a bipartisan manner to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

Why it matters: Congress is fast approaching an October deadline to raise the nation's debt ceiling and avoid a government shutdown. But the issue has become a thorny partisan stand-off.