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Michigan Passes Bills Allowing Adoption Agencies to Refuse Services

Allegory of Justice
Three new bills passed by Michigan’s House Families, Children and Seniors committee could allow faith-based adoption agencies to refuse service to anyone who violates their religious beliefs.

Specifically, the new legislation would allow agencies that take money from the state for placing children with families to deny service to same-sex couples so long as the agencies have a “sincere religious objection” and make a good faith effort to refer the couples to other adoption services.

The bills passed the committee as-is, without Democrats’ proposed amendments, which would have made the best interest of the child the overriding goal; required agencies to reveal their policies if asked; and required adherence to the Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act and the federal Civil Rights Act.

The vote comes at a time when the U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to hear arguments regarding same-sex marriage in the near future, making the issue more urgent. On top of that, other states have passed legislation that prohibit the religious objections the new bills would allow.

“There is a movement to try and force them out of business. Other states have passed legislation that they have to accept anyone,” said republican State Rep. Tom Hooker. “The more kids we can get adopted, the less we have in foster care.”

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