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ACLU sues Michigan after same-sex couples denied by religious adoption agencies

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Tyrone Warner
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The ACLU is challenging Michigan’s policy of allowing faith-based adoption agencies that accept public funds to turn away same-sex couples.

The lawsuit says the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is violating its own contracts with those agencies, which prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. It also says the department’s policy violates First Amendment and equal protection rights in the U.S. constitution.

Kristy Dumont and her wife say they were turned away by two Catholic adoption agencies when they tried to adopt.

“I mean, they didn’t even know us, and they made the decision solely based on who we are married to," says Dumont.

"There are so many couples out there like us who want to provide a home for these children, and are being told no. The worst part is they are denying these kids the chance to be placed in permanent, loving families.”

A 2015 state law, adopted following the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision, allows faith-based social services agencies some leeway to keep operating without violating their religious principles. But the law also made clear that doesn’t apply to adoption placements.

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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