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ACLU Sues Michigan For Refusing Adoption to Same-Sex Couples

ACLU Sues Michigan For Refusing Adoption to Same-Sex Couples

Gay Parents, Same-Sex Parents, Adoption

Of course it’s all about religion. 

Unfortunately for many LGBTQ Americans, the hypocrisy of defending religious "beliefs" can permeate and affect many aspects of their lives. Worse still it isn't always something as easily laughed off as a birthday cake--sometimes it's whether or not an otherwise fit same-sex couple is even allowed to adopt or foster children.

Related | 10 Percent of U.K. Adoptions in 2016 Were By Same-Sex Couples

Michigan, like many other states, contracts out its child welfare services to private agencies that handle bringing children into the foster care system. These agencies deem families appropriate or not for adoption and fostering, all the while being funded by tax dollars.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, many of these private agencies are faith-based, and thus sometimes cite their beliefs when choosing where children should, or shouldn't, be placed. According to the ACLU Michigan alone has 13,000 children in the foster care system and, similar to other states, doesn't have enough families willing or able to meet their needs.

Related | 60 Power Couples You Should Know

"Despite the need for more families to care for the state's most vulnerable children, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services permits child placement agencies to turn away prospective foster and adoptive families headed by same-sex couples based on their religious objections," said the ACLU in a release. "Allowing state-contracted agencies to screen out prospective families based on religious criteria not only harms the children most in need, it is also unconstitutional... That's why the ACLU is suing in federal district court."

The organization states that Michigan isn't the only state that allows this sort of religious discrimination when trying to home and adopt foster children. In 2017 Alabama, South Dakota, and Texas all passed laws allowing this behavior, and similar laws already existed in North Dakota, Virginia, and Mississippi. "It's not just same-sex couples that are at risk," the ACLU writes. "Most of these laws also would allow an agency to reject families that don't share its faith, single-parent families, or any other kind of family that doesn't meet its religious criteria." The ACLU hopes that a winning ruling will set a precedent moving forward to dismantle this type of discrimination.

Read the full release, here.

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Dennis Hinzmann