The package of bills would let taxpayer-funded adoption agencies deny adoption based on moral or religious beliefs. Speak out against discrimination today.
Michigan Republicans seem hell-bent on passing as much religious-based discrimination legislation as quickly as possible. By Wednesday, the House will vote on a package of bills that would let faith-based adoption agencies deny an adoption placement based on that agency’s moral or religious beliefs. Although the bills could make it harder for unmarried people to adopt, LGBTQ couples would likely face the most discrimination. After all, Michigan Republicans have not tried to hide their crusade against the LGBTQ community.
Not only would the bills enshrine faith-based discrimination into law, they would protect public agencies that discriminate — which means taxpayer-funded agencies would be allowed to put their religious views over the interests of the general public. How it isn’t unconstitutional to refuse to serve everyone equally when using taxpayer funds is beyond me.
Michigan has 14,000 children in foster care at any one time, according to a release from Equality Michigan. These bills could threaten the placement of more than 3,000 foster care children who are 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.”
Supporters of the bills claim it will somehow make it easier to place children in forever homes, but the logic of that statement escapes me.
State Democratic Rep. Marcia Hovey-Wright, who opposes the legislation, proposed a series of failed amendments, including one that would have prohibited an agency from declining service if the decision was not “in the best interest of the child,” according to MLive.com.
Rep. Hovey-Wright spoke out after the hearing, as quoted in MLive.
We believe that these bills are not in the best interest of the child. Studies have shown that gay and lesbian parents are more likely to adopt special needs children. And in states that are gay-friendly, the number of adoptions is higher than in states that are gay-unfriendly, which is what Michigan is.
The proposed legislation would require that faith-based agencies refer prospective parents to another adoption agency if they refuse to serve them, but the high number of faith-based agencies in some areas of Michigan would make that a difficult process for many.
Sommer Foster, Equality Michigan’s director of political advocacy, testified against these bills before they were passed out of committee. Here’s what she said in a release.
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 has been gathering signatures on a petition, which you can sign HERE. But in the interest of time, contact your House Representative immediately to speak out against House Bills 4188, 4189 and 4190. Tell them you don’t want Michigan to become a state that prioritizes faith-based discrimination over finding loving homes for children in need.
You can also use this petition created by the ACLU of Michigan to contact your Representative directly.
[Image courtesy of Equality Michigan.]