JIM VERTUNO, Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas' Republican-controlled Senate has given final approval to a law that allows publicly funded foster care and adoption agencies to refuse to place children with non-Christian, unmarried or gay prospective parents because of religious objections.

The lawmakers approved the "Freedom to Serve Children Act" early Monday. The bill now goes to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott for his consideration.

The measure received a late push in the Republican-dominated Legislature ahead of the May 29 end of the session.

Private foster care and adoption organizations say they face a threat of lawsuits for exercising their religious beliefs without specific state legal protection. This measure could prevent them from being sued if they don't want to work with adoptive parents who are single, gay or non-Christian.

Critics call the bill state-funded discrimination.

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