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Lawsuit: Tennessee Christian adoption agency turned away Jewish couple

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Knoxville couple is suing the Tennessee Department of Children's Services and says a state-sponsored Christian adoption agency refused to help them because they are Jewish.

Knoxville News Sentinel reported that Elizabeth and Gabriel Rutan-Ram say the Holston United Methodist Home for Children in Greeneville barred them from taking state-mandated foster-parent training and denied them a home-study certification while they attempted to adopt a child from Florida last year.

According to the couple's attorney, this is the first lawsuit to challenge a new Tennessee law that allows religious adoption agencies to deny service to families based on their religious or moral beliefs.