LANSING – Legislators serving in the Michigan House of Representatives have passed three bills, House Bills 4188 (LaFontaine-32), 4189 (Santana-9), and 4190 (Leutheuser-58), which would allow taxpayer funded adoption agencies the ability to deny an adoption placement based on that agency’s moral or religious beliefs. Equality Michigan’s director of political advocacy, Sommer Foster, testified against the bills, alongside parents and advocates from partner organizations. The bills will now go to the Michigan Senate for consideration.
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, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities, fights for the rights of LGBTQ families seeking to adopt and has joined with Michiganders to fight these dangerous bills over the past few years.
With the bills going before the Michigan Senate, Equality Michigan is asking people to encourage the Senate to do the right thing by opposing the bills. People interested in taking action can visit www.equalitymi.org for more information on the opportunity to take action.
“Equality Michigan joins Michiganders around the state in being concerned by our elected officials desire to enshrine discrimination into our laws. Children needs homes and loving families, and the actions being taken by our elected leaders does nothing to help this long-standing problem,” said Emily Dievendorf, Equality Michigan’s executive director.
“Our leaders need to stop wasting precious time and our money harming children in need, and get back to the business of making Michigan better. Equality Michigan’s members have sent thousands of emails opposing these bills, and they will continue to speak up against these bills until our leaders finally realize that Michigan wants to be a state known for our economic savvy and compassion towards our citizens – not one known for wasting resources creating problems where known exist in an effort to politicize children,” said Sommer Foster, Equality Michigan’s director of political advocacy.