Michigan Law Now Lets State-Funded Faith-Based Adoption Agencies Discriminate Against Gay Parents June 12, 2015

Michigan Law Now Lets State-Funded Faith-Based Adoption Agencies Discriminate Against Gay Parents

Yesterday, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder sign into law a trio of bills allowing religious adoption agencies that contract with the state to say to prospective parents, “You can’t adopt this child because you’re gay.”

This scene makes the Baby Jesus cry

The three-bill package, widely opposed by LGBT advocates, had reached his desk less than 24 hours earlier after approval Wednesday in the Republican-led Legislature.

“The state has made significant progress in finding more forever homes for Michigan kids in recent years and that wouldn’t be possible without the public-private partnerships that facilitate the adoption process,” Snyder said in a statement.

“We are focused on ensuring that as many children are adopted to as many loving families as possible regardless of their makeup.”

How’s that for a contradiction?

Snyder wants children to be adopted by loving families… but the bills he just signed legalized discrimination against parents who might be gay or lesbian, atheists, Jews, African-American, etc. Whatever makes the religious bigots unhappy.

The religious argument here is that giving children to certain kinds of parents would go against their faith. Here’s what one Christian group said to the governor in defense of these bills:

… some state and local governments [are] taking the position that faith-based agencies must choose between their desire to help children and families and their fidelity to their religious principles.

When those two things are in contradiction, the government has no business saying, “Okay, forget about the kids. Let’s just make sure your God is happy.”

I’m proud that my home state of Illinois refused to honor this faith-based intolerance. A few years ago, they cut their ties with Catholic agencies that thought kids were better off having no parents than loving gay ones.

Snyder didn’t have the courage to do that.

House Minority Leader Tim Greimel, D-Auburn Hills, said he was “bitterly disappointed” by Snyder’s decision to sign the bills into law.

“I can’t understand his action today as anything other than a betrayal of Michigan’s diverse population,” Greimel said. “Adoption agencies receive taxpayer dollars, and they shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate against taxpayers who pay them.”

Only 17 of the 62 adoption agencies in the state are faith-based, and the law will require them to refer parents they reject to other agencies. But that’s irrelevant, because the principle is what matters here: Michigan, following in the footsteps of Indiana, just sanctioned government-sponsored discrimination.

I can’t verify this, but one of the comments left on the MLive page was this:

This is awful. I’m a foster to adoptive parent and what these people forget is that these children dont get to choose what agency they go to. They are placed at random.
We have a girl we’re adopting who was placed in a religious agency. She is 1) atheist and 2) terrified of men. She was bounced around and go moved from homes because she was quite adamant about her lack of belief in god. One home removed her because she was offensive to them.
Her worker went against the agency to find her a two mother home that was atheist.

Our other foster daughter also has an issue with men. They placed her with us, and our supervisor was quite open about how this would have blown up if she were placed in a heterosexual home.
Some children, because if their lives, are better placed with two mother or two dad homes. Its a fact.
Children who are atheist shouldnt have to go through hell and made to feel worthless before someone speaks out and says “hey we need to look at other home types”

If even some of that is true, it’s the sort of awful treatment we’ll see even more of with these laws in place.

The ACLU is considering a lawsuit to reverse this potential damage:

ACLU attorney Brooke Tucker said the group is looking at ways to challenge of the law on constitutional grounds.

“The constitution doesn’t allow discrimination based on religion and you can’t do that with state funds,” she said. “We’re looking at our legal options and especially looking to hear from people who will be adversely affected by this.”

Let’s hope, for the sake of the children, the laws are overturned.

(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)

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