A Michigan law which has been dubbed the “LGBT adoption” bill, was signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder on Wednesday and it is sparking backlash. The legislature approved legislation which would permit faith-based agencies that contract with state agencies to refuse service to prospective parents on religious grounds. The religious adoption agencies would refer the potential parents to other child placement agencies in the state.
Governor Rick Snyder was reportedly “codifying” the existing Department of Human Services (DHS) adoption services regulations for faith-based agencies. The legislation is said to protect religious adoption agencies from “adverse actions” in the future, which could entail the loss of state funding and contracts.
Human Rights Campaign Field Director Mary Rouse released a statement about the Michigan legislation from the LGBT advocacy group.
“Fair-minded Michiganders, corporations, business leaders, and major child advocacy organizations are united in saying this kind of extreme legislation is flat out wrong and sends the wrong message about the future of Michigan. Governor Snyder absolutely must veto this virulently anti-LGBT legislation.”
Catholic adoption agencies in some states have reportedly shuttered their family placement services when faced with mandates which would require the agencies to place children with same-sex couples.
“Michigan thrives on diversity — these bills will ensure faith-based agencies are able to operate according to their conscience in order to continue serving others in our state,” Catholic Conference representative Tom Hickson said in a statement released after the LGBT adoption bill was signed on Wednesday.
Critics of the Michigan LGBT adoption law claim that the legislation is nothing more than state-sanctioned discrimination of potential parents who are also gay, according to a Michigan Live report. Some opponents of the faith-based adoption law also contend that the best interest of children are being placed behind the beliefs of adults.
The ACLU has vowed to fight the LGBT adoption law. Michigan ACLU Chapter Deputy Director Rana Elmir called the law both “dangerous” and “shameful.”
“We’re deeply disappointed that Governor Snyder signed this dangerous legislation. We are developing a lawsuit with our Muslim, Jewish, Christian and LGBTQ partners. We encourage any family looking to adopt or foster children who believe they will be adversely affected by this law to contact us immediately. The agencies that are subject to HB 4188-4190 are receiving state money to perform a public function and are therefore state actors. Agencies have a legal obligation to ensure the best interests of the child are considered during placement. There is nothing about this shameful legislation that helps vulnerable kids find homes.”
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