ACLU sues Michigan for allowing adoption agencies to refuse same-sex couples
LANSING, Michigan, September 22, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the state of Michigan for allowing Christian adoption agencies to place children in homes with a mom and a dad.
The ACLU is representing lesbians Kristy and Dana Dumont against the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Michigan Children’s Services Agency over laws allowing religious exemptions for Christian adoption agencies.
Dumont v. Lyon is the first legal action challenging laws that allow faith-based agencies to follow policies consistent with their beliefs. “We want to send a message to legislators,” ACLU lawyer Leslie Cooper said, “We have to make clear these kinds of laws are unconstitutional.”
But National Review’s Margot Cleveland suspects an even more sinister agenda behind the ACLU lawsuit. “The end game is to rid the public sector of religious organizations unless they capitulate to the LGBT agenda,” she surmised.
Gay, lesbian, and transgender groups are backing the lawsuit with public ads. Movement Advancement Project produced a TV commercial called “Kids Pay the Price,” which portrays children harmed by religious freedom. The LGBTQI activist organization laments the current wave of 45 religious exemption bills introduced in 22 states during the past year.
“The U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby and Trinity Lutheran decisions reaffirmed … government should respect the free exercise rights of organizations that seek to operate according to their deeply held beliefs,” Focus on the Family president Jim Daly told USA Today. “Such respect enables entities like faith-based adoption agencies to fill a critical need in society.”
In 2015, Michigan passed legislation protecting religious adoption agencies from being defunded on the basis of favoring heterosexual, two-parent families. The measure required such agencies to refer same-sex couple applicants to a list of other agencies that place children in homosexual or transgender homes.
“We are focused on ensuring that as many children are adopted to as many loving families as possible regardless of their makeup,” Governor Rick Snyder explained when he signed the bill into law. That “wouldn’t be possible without the public-private partnerships that facilitate the adoption process.”
Supporters further noted that the law “protect(s) child-placing agencies’ free exercise of religion protected by the United States Constitution and the state constitution of 1963.”
States with similar religious protections include Alabama, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia.
The law “doesn’t restrict anyone from participating in foster care or adoption, but it does preserve for faith-based agencies the freedom to be faithful to our convictions,” Bethany Christian Services CEO Bill Blacquiere pointed out. Grand Rapids-based Bethany is the largest adoption agency in the country.
Religious freedom laws are needed because “there is growing societal pressure to confine Christian liberty,” Blacquiere said.
“If the ACLU prevails in its litigation,” the National Review opined, “fewer children will find loving families, because the most experienced and qualified agencies will be forced out of child-placement services.”
Christian agencies across the nation have closed over LGBTQI anti-discrimination laws requiring them to betray their sincere beliefs about what is best for children.
In 2006, one of the nation’s oldest and most successful placement agencies, Catholic Charities, shut itself down in Boston rather than violate its beliefs. Other foster and adoption agencies in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., and throughout Illinois have been forced out of business as well.
Cleveland accused the ACLU of seeking to “destroy … religious freedom in the public sphere when it conflicts with the LGBT agenda.”
“When you force faith-based organizations out ... ‘ultimately, the only losers are the kids,’” she wrote. “And religious liberty.”
Read the entire lawsuit here.