LANSING, Mich. — A legislative committee is waiting to vote on legislation that would allow faith-based agencies in Michigan refuse to participate in adoptions that violate their beliefs.
The House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee was expected to vote as early as Wednesday, but the panel instead tweaked the bills, and said a final vote would be planned later after more testimony is heard.
Advocates of the legislation say it would codify existing practice into law and preemptively protect religious child-placing organizations from repercussions if Michigan ever legalizes same-sex marriage or civil unions.
Critics say the bills would authorize discrimination by agencies receiving state funding for child placements.
It is the latest dispute over “conscience” legislation, measures pushed by the Michigan Catholic Conference and other groups to protect their religious freedom.
A separate bill that would let health workers and businesses object to providing contraception or other medical services on moral grounds has been pending on the floor of the Senate for five months.