LGBT, Michigan Republicans, RFRA — March 18, 2015 at 3:39 pm

Michigan House votes in favor of religious discrimination by adoption agencies

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Bills pass 65-44 with immediate effect, proving that the legislation’s supporters can’t wait to hate.

Despite the passionate, well-reasoned arguments of opponents, a package of discriminatory adoption bills passed the Michigan House on Wednesday and were given immediate effect. House Bills 4188-4190 allow faith-based adoption agencies to place their religious views above the best interests of children in need — even when the agencies are funded by the state.

A number of Democratic representatives spoke out against the legislation, pointing out that the bills would allow for discrimination not only against the LGBT community, but also against people of faiths other than those of the adoption agencies. The point was also made several times that these bills violate Article 1, Section 4 of the Michigan Constitution (emphasis mine):

Every person shall be at liberty to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. No person shall be compelled to attend, or, against his consent, to contribute to the erection or support of any place of religious worship, or to pay tithes, taxes or other rates for the support of any minister of the gospel or teacher of religion. No money shall be appropriated or drawn from the treasury for the benefit of any religious sect or society, theological or religious seminary; nor shall property belonging to the state be appropriated for any such purpose. The civil and political rights, privileges and capacities of no person shall be diminished or enlarged on account of his religious belief.

Other valid arguments brought up by the bills’ Democratic opponents include the fact that when children are adopted into forever homes, it reduces the cost burden on the state of keeping those children in the foster system. What’s more, the Legislature was reminded, it is their sworn duty to put the best interests of their constituents above all else, including their religion.

Clearly, that did not happen.

In a statement, Progress Michigan’s Communications Director Hugh Madden called these bills “a license to discriminate for adoption agencies that receive state dollars.”

Conservatives need to prioritize helping kids find loving families, not pushing their extremist ideology that seeks to enshrine discrimination into state law. Families are families — no matter what they look like — and it’s time the House Republicans started realizing that fact. We’re already battling enough discriminatory laws like this in our state and enough is enough.

The bill package must pass the Senate before going to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature.

I join Progress Michigan in calling on Gov. Snyder to put an end to this legislation by publicly opposing discrimination against families. According to Progress Michigan, Gov. Snyder has waffled on the issue recently and refused to take a stand.

“This bill is about politics, not religious freedom and we’d hope that Gov. Snyder would realize that,” said Madden. “There are other priorities for the state to focus on and perpetuating religious intolerance and discrimination is not one of them.”

We need to send a clear message to Governor Rick Snyder that there is no place for religious discrimination in Michigan. You can contact him HERE. While you’re at it, contact your state Senator, too.

Let’s make some noise.

[Image credit: mintchipdesigns via pixabay.com ]

  • Martin Pollard

    “Gov. Snyder has waffled on the issue recently and refused to take a stand.”

    So what else is new? One Gutless Nerd strikes again. Our benevolent overlord and our ongoing experiment in the Dunning-Kruger Effect can’t take their mouths off the Kochs long enough to see (or care) that they are destroying this state and everyone in it.

    • judy

      I know for a fact that the Kochs are involved in this. I checked it out when this religious freedom thing first started. And Charles Koch along with a layman and a priest were said to be the founders, or what ever you want to call them. Oh well as I’ve said before welcome to the US of Koch.

  • Laurie Tata

    Because it’s all about what’s best for the adoption organizations, NOT what’s best for THE CHILDREN, right?

  • kidcat24

    My state senator is a hating republican.

  • Paul

    Does our party actually hate the Republicans so much as to be against this bill because it was introduced by Republicans? We should be better than the republicans but it is just more of the same bullshit over and over from both parties. I
    just read the 4188 bill is about child adoption agencies that have a
    “written statement of faith” not being forced to go against that
    statement of faith for child adoption placement. And the agency that is
    declining the service is required to send the parents to a service that does. And it prohibits the government from “adverse action” against said agency. http://www.legislature.mi.gov/…/2015-HLA-4188-504B774E.pdf

    • p

      Google “Michigan bill 4188” and read the 2 pages of the bill.

    • Amy Lynn Smith

      In some parts of Michigan, there isn’t an agency in the area that isn’t faith-based. The bill makes it harder for kids to be adopted. Plus, the agencies can discriminate on any grounds because they don’t have to say why they object. I’m not opposed to the legislation because it was brought forth against Republicans. I’m opposed because it puts religious views above all else. Agencies who want to push a religious agenda should not receive state funding.

    • All we need is love

      Paul, it is what is in the bill and the never ending hate and distrust of their fellow man. All American are to be granted equal rights, no exceptions. If one takes a job working for the public they should not be able to pick and choose only those that agree with their religious believes. They need to concern their self with their soul and not decide what God wants for others. This is a bill that will keep some children from having a family because of distrust and the truth of the matter narrow minded people with dirty minds. .

      • P

        Lets make this very clear I have read the actual bill. not some new reports/facebook pages/democrat blogs that tell me what some reporter thinks is in the bill. As for Public office choosing religious beliefs your right HOWEVER they should protect that 1 Amendment in the bill of rights, correct? Part of that is not allowing others to force someone to go against what they believe in The bill states that the agency MUST have a WRITTEN statement of faith. Now it is easy to say no one should impose their beliefs but that is what some are doing by saying that a an adoption agency with a Written statement of faith will have to just knock that belief thing they do off and do what we say. So to Amy Lynn’s point about adoption agencies being faith based. a quick Google search I found Plenty of agencies that were NOT faith based in Michigan an Ohio. If you want a child and you have to drive a few hours more is not really a great argument to me at least. But point taken Amy, however unless they have a WRITTEN statement of faith this bill does not apply to them. So if they are faith based but don’t care if a gay couple adopts it is a mute point and if they do care then they are REQUIRED to still help by telling them where to go to get a child. It is clearly in the bill. So again I am back to this is not about Kids or people or rights of faith its about how can we make Republicans look bad. As democrats we should be better people than this. Again Read the 2 page Bill it is public knowledge – Google it – see the PDF.

        • Feel that way about civil rights laws that prevent discrimination, too? Or giving taxpayer funds to those who discriminate?

    • Sandra Walter Meyer

      You have it pegged.

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