Michigan Legislature Poised to Grant Special Discrimination Rights to Anti-LGBT Adoption Services

by Stephen Peters

Bills would allow adoption discrimination based on parents’ religion, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other categories


WASHINGTON – On Thursday, December 4, in addition to passing a Religious Freedom Restoration Act through the Michigan House of Representatives, in a surprise move the Michigan legislative body also resurrected three bills that would allow adoption or foster care providers to refuse services on the basis of their personal religious objections—the consequences of which would be immediate, random, broad, and disastrous. These four bills now head to the Senate where they may likely pass this week.  The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, strongly condemned the bills and urged the Michigan Senate to stop them.

These bills would enshrine special discrimination rights into Michigan law. They would allow a religious adoption agency from a non-Christian faith to deny service to a straight, Christian couple. A single parent seeking to foster a child in need could be turned away no questions asked. And of course, this law would also allow rampant discrimination against committed and loving LGBT couples.

“This is not what religious freedom is supposed to look like,” said Marty Rouse, HRC’s National Field Director. “These bills are nothing more than explicit and repulsive licenses to discriminate, and have no place in Michigan law. It is in the best interests of children that all qualified adults who have the room in their hearts and homes to adopt a child are permitted to do so, and are treated fairly in the process. We urge the Michigan Senate to stop these heinous bills from moving forward.”

More than 400,000 children remain in the US foster care system, and 100,000+ of these are waiting for permanent families. A disproportionate number of foster youth are LGBT.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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