Michigan: Passes Bills Denying Homes to Foster Children

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Despite concerns from constituents, legislators passed the discriminatory adoption bills

LANSING, Michigan—Legislators serving on the Michigan House Committee on Families, Children, and Seniors have passed three bills out of committee, House Bills 4188 (LaFontaine-32), 4189 (Santana-9), and 4190 (Leutheuser-58), which would allow taxpayer funded adoption agencies the ability to deny an adoption placement based on that agency’s moral or religious beliefs. Equality Michigan’s director of political advocacy, Sommer Foster, testified against the bills, alongside parents and advocates from partner organizations.

Michigan has 14,000 children in foster care at any one time. 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 choosing to discriminate. [pullquote]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 choosing to discriminate.  [/pullquote]

Equality Michigan, the only statewide anti-violence and advocacy organization serving Michigan’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities, fights for the rights of LGBTQ families seeking to adopt and has joined with Michiganders to fight these dangerous bills over the past few years.

With the possibility of the bills going before the Michigan House of Representatives for a floor vote, Equality Michigan is asking people to encourage the House leadership to do the right thing by opposing the bills. People interested in taking action can visit www.eqmi.us/215adopt for more information on the petition.

“Equality Michigan is committed to making sure that our legislators know that Michigan citizens will not tolerate efforts to turn Michigan into a state which values intolerance over reason. This effort to enshrine discrimination into our laws is alarming and must be stopped,” said Emily Dievendorf, Equality Michigan’s executive director.

“This legislation is making things harder for the over 3,000 foster care children currently awaiting homes. Our leaders are wasting precious time and our money to harm children in need. Equality Michigan’s members have sent thousands of emails opposing these bills, and they will continue to do so until the House leadership does the right thing and kills these bills,” said Sommer Foster, Equality Michigan’s director of political advocacy.

The Michigan Department of Human Services has additional information on the 14,000 Michigan children in foster care at any given time online at 1.usa.gov/13pycYy.

Equality Michigan has worked passionately for over 20 years to achieve full equality and respect for all people in Michigan regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. For more information, visit www.equalitymi.org.

[From a News Release]

1 Comment on "Michigan: Passes Bills Denying Homes to Foster Children"

  1. The question is not whether “faith-based” adoption agencies have “religious freedom” to discriminate against Gay couples, but whether they are accepting public funds in the process! Gay people are taxpayers too, and I don’t want my tax dollars going to organizations that discriminate against me, any more than a Catholic would want his tax dollars going toward an organization that discriminates against Catholics.

    Catholic Charities of Boston went through this same situation years ago. I frankly couldn’t care less if their adoption service discriminated against Gay couples or Muslim couples or whomever. Problem was, Catholic Charities of Boston were being funded by the State of Massachusetts to the tune of a million bucks per year! And they were given a choice: Either stop discriminating against Gay couples, or give up their public funding. They chose to give up the funding. Fine by me. You wanna feed at public trough, you’d better be prepared to play by the rules.

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