91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Judge to decide if faith-based adoption agencies can turn away LGBTQ people as lawsuit plays out

two moms sitting with child sitting between them
Adobe Stock

Faith based adoption and foster agencies might be allowed to keep turning away prospective parents based on their sexual orientation. That’s if a federal judge allows it while an underlying lawsuit plays out.

In March, Attorney General Dana Nessel settled a different lawsuit – the terms of the settlement prevent the state from working with agencies that discriminate based on sexual orientation.

Jay Kaplan is an attorney with the ACLU of Michigan. The organization supports the state.

“Allowing contracted agencies to turn away families who might be very well qualified to provide loving and stable homes to children is not in the best interest of children.”

St. Vincent Catholic Charities is suing the state. Melissa Buck is a mother who adopted children through St. Vincent – and a plaintiff in the case. She says if St. Vincent is required to follow the state policy, it’ll have to shut its doors.

“Families like mine will be left without the support we need to care for our children. Fewer families will be recruited to foster and adopt kids and foster children will be left without forever families.”

Faith-based agencies say there is a 2015 law that allows them to not work with LGBTQ people and still get state contracts. They say unless that law is followed, they’ll have to close their doors.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
Related Content