Michigan rule allows religious agencies to deny LGBT adoptions

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Faith-based adoption agencies that contract with the state of Michigan can refuse to place children in LGBT homes under a settlement filed in federal court Tuesday, months after the United States Supreme Court ruled for a Catholic charity in a similar case.

The state Department of Health and Human Services said the High Court’s decision against Philadelphia binds the state and limits its ability to enforce a policy of non-discrimination.

“While this outcome is not what we hoped for, we are committed to providing support to the many members of the LGBTQ+ community who wish to open their hearts and homes,” said Demetrius Starling, Executive Director of the Children’s Services Agency. . declaration.

In 2019, Lansing-based St. Vincent Catholic Charities sued the state, challenging an agreement brokered by Attorney General Dana Nessel to resolve an earlier lawsuit filed by two lesbian couples in 2017. The agreement stated that a A 2015 law supported by the Republicans allowing child placement agencies to refuse services that conflict with their sincere religious beliefs does not apply if they are under contract with the state.

Michigan, like most states, contracts with private agencies to place children from troubled homes with new families.

A judge blocked the attorney general from banning faith-based agencies from excluding LGBT couples from services, saying his action was contrary to state law, contract and established practice. Settlement talks began after the Supreme Court ruled in June that Philadelphia had wrongfully limited its relationship with a Catholic foster care agency that says its religious views prevent it from working with same-sex couples.

“We believe this agreement advances the common good, benefits Michigan’s vulnerable children, and upholds the constitutional right to religious freedom that is a cornerstone of our state and our nation,” said David Maluchnik, spokesperson for Michigan. Michigan Catholic Conference.


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