LANSING, Mich. — Legislators serving on the Michigan House Committee on Families, Children, and Seniors on Wednesday advanced three bills which would allow taxpayer funded adoption agencies the ability to deny an adoption placement based on that agency’s moral or religious beliefs.
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.
“The ongoing efforts by out of touch elected leaders serving in the Michigan Legislature to turn Michigan into a state which values intolerance over reason is alarming and must be stopped,” said said Emily Dievendorf, Managing Director of Equality Michigan, a statewide LGBT advocacy group.
Reports indicate Michigan has approximately 14,000 children in foster care at any one time.
Article continues belowAccording to Equality Michigan, these bills could threaten the placement of the over 3,000 foster care children whose biological parents’ rights have been terminated and who are just waiting for homes. Yet the bills acknowledge that denying a couple based on religious or moral convictions does not imply “that the proposed adoption is not in the best interests of the adoptee.”
Additionally, the bills protect public funding for agencies that deny adoption based on religious or moral objections.
With the possibility of the bills going before the Michigan House of Representatives for a floor vote, Equality Michigan has launched a petition calling on House leadership to kill the bills.