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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Judge to decide if faith-based adoption agencies can turn away LGBTQ people as lawsuit plays out

two moms sitting with child sitting between them
Adobe Stock

Faith based adoption and foster agencies might be allowed to keep turning away prospective parents based on their sexual orientation. That’s if a federal judge allows it while an underlying lawsuit plays out.

In March, Attorney General Dana Nessel settled a different lawsuit – the terms of the settlement prevent the state from working with agencies that discriminate based on sexual orientation.

Jay Kaplan is an attorney with the ACLU of Michigan. The organization supports the state.

“Allowing contracted agencies to turn away families who might be very well qualified to provide loving and stable homes to children is not in the best interest of children.”

St. Vincent Catholic Charities is suing the state. Melissa Buck is a mother who adopted children through St. Vincent – and a plaintiff in the case. She says if St. Vincent is required to follow the state policy, it’ll have to shut its doors.

“Families like mine will be left without the support we need to care for our children. Fewer families will be recruited to foster and adopt kids and foster children will be left without forever families.”

Faith-based agencies say there is a 2015 law that allows them to not work with LGBTQ people and still get state contracts. They say unless that law is followed, they’ll have to close their doors.

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