Larry Phillips contends that he was verbally assaulted, mocked, harassed, and eventually fired by his Missouri Division of Family Services supervisors because of his objections to the placement of children in homes of homosexual foster parents.

In April 1995, Phillips, who was a social worker at the Division of Family Services from March 1994 to November 1996, questioned the placement of a child with a lesbian parent. He says his supervisor told him he "was being intolerant" and his religious beliefs "were affecting his ability to perform his job effectively."

But Phillips, of Kansas City, is fighting back with a lawsuit. He is seeking damages from the state of Missouri for wrongful termination.

Missouri Department of Social Services spokesperson Debbie Hendricks says the agency "does not license openly homosexual couples to be foster parents." But she says prospective single parents are not asked about their sexual orientation.

Currently about 25 states allow adoption by one homosexual parent. In December, New Jersey became the first state to allow an adoption by a homosexual couple.

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