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Christian adoption agencies in Michigan will lose state funding if they turn away same-sex couples

'The result of that will be tragic'

St. Vincent Catholic Charities in Michigan (Image source: YouTube video screenshot)

Adoption agencies in Michigan that refuse to place children with same-sex couples will no longer be able to receive state funding as a result of a legal settlement that could significantly hinder Christian agencies, according to the Associated Press.

What was the settlement? Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (a Democrat) and the American Civil Liberties Union agreed to settle a lawsuit filed in 2017 on behalf of two gay couples and one former Michigan foster child.

The lawsuit claimed that while adoption agencies could turn away LGBTQ people who wanted to adopt, they could not do so if they were contracted by the Department of Health and Human Services. Now, the department will end contracts with any agency found to turn away LGBTQ people, even if the rejection is based on religious belief.

What will this do to Christian agencies in Michigan? "The result of that will be tragic, said Lori Windham, an attorney for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which was involved in the lawsuit on behalf of Christian charities. "Thousands of children will be kept from finding the loving homes they deserve. This settlement violates state law protecting religious adoption agencies."

St. Vincent Catholic Charities claimed in a 2017 court filing that it recruited more new families to adopt than seven out of the eight other adoption agencies in the region that work with unmarried or gay couples. St. Vincent may not be able to keep the adoption and foster program going without state funding, leaving it with two choices: end the program, or violate its Christian beliefs.

How did the plaintiffs respond to the settlement? "[The settlement] will mean more families for children, especially those who have been waiting years for a family to adopt them," said two of the plaintiffs, Kristy and Dana Dumont. "And we can't wait to welcome one of those children into our family."

(H/T The Hill)

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