In a refreshing change from this trend against religious providers, the Michigan Legislature has approved legislation that would allow faith-based adoption agencies with state contracts the right to refuse to participate in referrals that violate their beliefs:
Senate Republicans voted 26-12 almost entirely along party lines after a debate during which some lawmakers recounted their own experiences of being adopted or adopting children. The House gave final approval, 65-44, after passing an earlier version in March.
Supporters said the legislation would codify the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ existing practice for private agencies with child-placing contracts, solidifying their relationship with the state. Agencies with religious objections to a prospective adoption would have to refer an applicant to another willing and able agency or to a state website listing other providers.
Opponents said the bills would ignore children’s best interests, legalize discrimination, and make Michigan a less enticing place to live. They likened the legislation to a recently enacted religious objections law in Indiana that had to be softened because of a strong backlash over the possibility of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.