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House-passed bills would allow faith-based adoption agencies to turn away LGBT couples

Sarah Horrigan

The state House has adopted legislation that would allow faith-based adoption agencies to continue to turn away LGBT couples – even if the U.S. Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage.

The bills would continue the current practice that could be threatened by a Supreme Court ruling. Republicans say the agencies shouldn’t be forced to choose between their religious values and performing their mission.

“Faith-based agencies are critical, yes, critical, to ensuring that all children in Michigan are adopted into loving homes,” said state Representative Laura Cox, R-Livonia.

The bills cleared the House on mostly party-line votes.

  Democrats like state Representative Robert Wittenberg, D-Oak Park, said agencies that take public funds should have to work with any family capable of offering a child a safe and loving home.

“Clearly, these bills are not about our state’s children, nor their best interest,” he said. “If these bills were truly about our children, why would we provide any reason for an adoption agency to refuse service to a willing and qualified parent?”

The bills now go the state Senate, which is also Republican-controlled. Governor Rick Snyder has expressed reservations about the legislation.

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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