LANSING – Legislators serving on the Michigan House Committee on Families, Children, and Seniors have passed three bills out of committee, House Bills 4927 and 4928, and 4991 which would allow taxpayer funded adoption agencies the ability to deny an adoption placement based on that agency’s moral or religious beliefs. Emily Dievendorf, Equality Michigan’s managing director, has testified against the bills each time they came up for a committee vote, alongside parents and advocates from partner organizations. Equality Michigan’s field organizer, Sommer Foster, was present for today’s vote and supporting the people who showed up to oppose the bills.
Michigan has 14,000 children in foster care at any one time. These bills could threaten the placement of the over 3,000 foster care children whose biological parents’ rights have been terminated and who are just waiting for homes. Yet the bills acknowledge that denying a couple based on religious or moral convictions does not imply “that the proposed adoption is not in the best interests of the adoptee.” Additionally, the bills protect public funding for agencies choosing to discriminate.
Equality Michigan, the only statewide anti-violence and advocacy organization serving Michigan’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities, fights for the rights of LGBT families seeking to adopt and has joined with Michiganders to fight these dangerous bills over the past month.
With the possibility of the bills going before the Michigan House of Representatives for a floor vote, Equality Michigan has launched an action allowing people to encourage the House leadership to do the right thing by opposing the bills. People interested in taking action can visit action.equalitymi.org for more information on the petition.
“The ongoing efforts by out of touch elected leaders serving in the Michigan Legislature to turn Michigan into a state which values intolerance over reason is alarming and must be stopped. Equality Michigan is proud of our members who sent thousands of emails opposing these bills. We encouarge them to tell House leadership that they have an opportunity to do the right thing and kill these bills. We are committed to making sure that our legislators know that Michigan voters will not tolerate efforts to legalize discrimination.” said Emily Dievendorf, Equality Michigan’s managing director.