Michigan deal bars LGBT discrimination in state adoptions

Religion News Service | 3/22/2019 | Staff
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Faith-based adoption agencies that are paid by the state of Michigan will no longer be able to turn away LGBT couples or individuals because of religious objections under a legal settlement announced Friday.

The agreement was reached between Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office and lawyers for the American Civil Liberties, which sued in 2017 on behalf of two **** couples and a woman who was in foster care in her teens.

Discrimination - Provision - Foster - Care - Case

“Discrimination in the provision of foster care case management and adoption services is illegal, no matter the rationale,” Nessel, who pursued settlement talks after taking office in January, said in a statement. “Limiting the opportunity for a child to be adopted or fostered by a loving home not only goes against the state’s goal of finding a home for every child, it is a direct violation of the contract every child-placing agency enters into with the state.”

Michigan, like most states, contracts with private agencies to place children from troubled homes with new families. The lawsuit alleged that the same-sex couples were turned away by Catholic Charities and Bethany Christian Services because they are gay.

Law - Child-placement - Agencies - Services - Beliefs

A 2015 Republican-enacted law says child-placement agencies are not required to provide services that conflict with their sincerely held religious beliefs. But the definition of services does not include those provided under a contract with the state Department of Health and Human Services, according to the suit and resulting settlement.

The Becket Fund for Religious...
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