A new Michigan law allows publicly funded adoption agencies to discriminate against potential parents on the basis of religion.
Under the new law, unmarried couples, same-sex couples, couples who hold different religious beliefs, and couples who hold no religious beliefs at all, will be denied the opportunity to offer a child in need a safe and loving home by state-funded, faith-based, adoption agencies.
Earlier this week Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, a Republican, signed the controversial religious objection adoption legislation into law. The legislation (which is actually composed of three new laws) allows adoption agencies that contract with the state to decline service to prospective parents on religious grounds.
Catholic leaders and evangelical Christians claim the new law will help preserve religious liberty, but many others object to the Republican backed legislation.
House Minority Leader Tim Greimel, D-Auburn Hills, said he was “bitterly disappointed” by Snyder’s decision to sign the bills into law.
I can’t understand his action today as anything other than a betrayal of Michigan’s diverse population. Adoption agencies receive taxpayer dollars, and they shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate against taxpayers who pay them.
State Senator Coleman Young II, a Democrat, spoke out about the bill’s discriminatory intent and broad impact on the Senate floor:
We know this is about LGBT people. But we know people are going to use this law to discriminate against people because of their race. Yet again the majority is claiming to use religious freedom as a shield when in fact they are using it as a sword.
The ACLU plans to challenge the openly discriminatory legislation.
Clearly, Michigan’s new religious objection adoption legislation is meant to be state-sanctioned discrimination against gays and lesbians wishing to adopt. However, the poorly crafted and mean-spirited legislation goes much further.
The ugly legislation will allow religious bigots to deny a child in need of a safe and loving home the opportunity to be adopted by loving parents, if those potential parents also happen to be unmarried couples, same-sex couples, couples who hold different religious beliefs, or couples who hold no religious beliefs at all.
Unscrupulous Catholics and evangelical Christians are apparently happy to engage in state-sanctioned discrimination to preserve their sincerely held religious beliefs. Yet in the end, it will be children in need of a loving home who will suffer.