Michigan Sued Over Discrimination in Adoption

A new lawsuit has been filed here in Michigan against the state for contracting with adoption agencies like Catholic Charities that refuse to place children with LGBT couples. The suit argues that is unconstitutional to use tax dollars to subsidize such discrimination.


In 2015, when the Supreme Court struck down state laws banning same-sex marriage, Michigan was one of many states that passed laws to thwart that advance in equality by allowing faith-based adoption agencies to continue to refuse to place children with married gay couples. The state government cannot do that constitutionally, so they farm it out to adoption agencies, most of them religious, and allow them to do it. This suit argues that it’s still unconstitutional, and I think they’re right.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services have a policy on adoption specifically that says they “will not discriminate against any individual or group because of race, religion, age, national origin, color, height, weight, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, political beliefs or disability.” So why is it okay for them to do the same thing indirectly rather than directly? The result is exactly the same, discrimination is subsidized by our tax dollars.

The suit argues that “when the State of Michigan hires private child placing agencies to provide child welfare services for children in state custody, it must ensure that those services are provided based on the needs of the children and in accordance with the United States Constitution.” That seems rather obvious, doesn’t it? The state could not hire a private police agency and allow them to violate the 4th Amendment to get around the Constitutional restrictions on government law enforcement, right?

The state can’t refuse to provide services on the basis of race or gender, and they could not also then hire a company to run the cafeteria at a state agency and allow them to refuse to serve women or black people. No one outside of the KKK would think that was legitimate. So why would anyone think it’s okay as long as it’s gay people being discriminated against? No, you cannot discriminate with my tax dollars. The government must provide the same services to all eligible people, whether they do so directly or indirectly.

You can read the full complaint here.

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