Michigan Senate Panel Approves Legislation Allowing Faith-based Adoption Agencies to Refuse Service to Same-Sex or Unmarried Couples


Faith-based adoption agencies to refuse to serve prospective parents based on their religious beliefs.

The bills, which would allow the agencies to refuse service to same-sex or unmarried couples if that goes against their religious beliefs, are moving as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments next week on whether same-sex marriage should be legal in Michigan and several other states.

The vote came after two hours of testimony from a wide group of supporters and opponents, including several gay and straight parents who have adopted children.

Supporters, including the agencies and the Michigan Catholic Conference, say the bills are necessary to ensure as many options as possible for parents looking to adopt children.

State Rep. Eric Leutheuser, R-Hillsdale is a sponsor of the bill, and said it’s “sloppy” to say that faith-based agencies to refuse service. “It’s more appropriate to say recuse and refer. Faith based agencies need to be able to recuse themselves from adoptions that would go against their faith based beliefs.”

Melissa Buck, who has adopted four children with her husband Chad through St. Vincent Catholic Charities of Lansing, said she fears the loss of her agency if the bills don’t pass.

“To lose them would be devastating, If I had to transfer to another agency, would they make themselves as available and would we feel welcome,” she said. “These kids have already lost enough.”

But opponents say the bills legalize discrimination and use state money to support that discrimination.

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SOURCE: Kathleen Gray
Detroit Free Press

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