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House rejects amendments to adoption law


The state House is poised to vote tomorrow  that would allow faith-based adoption agencies in Michigan to turn away couples based on a religious objection to their lifestyle

  House Republicans rejected a number of amendments in preliminary debate on the legislation. They would have required agencies to put the best interests of children over religious concerns, and to state in advance who they would refuse to serve.  

State Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, R-Colombus, says she wants to make sure that faith-base agencies won’t be forced in the future to choose between placing children with families and their religious values.

“I just want to make sure that the current system that is functioning today providing a diversity of agencies continues into the future,” she said.

“They think that gay marriage is going become legal in Michigan and they don’t want to have to adopt to gay families,” said state Rep. Marcia Hovey-Wright, D-Muskegon. “We have over 3,000 adoptable children in foster care. LGBT couples are more likely to adopt special needs children and many of these children are special needs or hard to place.” 

She says the bills would create a license to discriminate regardless of how the U.S. Supreme Court rules on same-sex marriage. That case – that includes Michigan and three other states – is up for oral arguments in front of the court next month with a ruling expected in June.

Gov. Rick Snyder (R) has also expressed concerns about the bills. He says they might invite litigation. Michigan is also in federal court over failing to place enough foster children in permanent homes.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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