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Lansing, Mich., Mar 25, 2019 / 03:01 pm (CNA).- Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has barred state funds from adoption agencies that won't place children with same-sex couples, after reaching a settlement with the ACLU and same-sex couples who approached a Catholic agency and another Christian agency.
The settlement is despite a state law protecting the religious freedom and funding of adoption agencies.
Settlement - Nothing - Thousands - Children - Foster
“This settlement does nothing to protect the thousands of children in foster care looking for loving homes,” the Michigan Catholic Conference objected in a March 22 Facebook post. These children are “the very people our state is charged with protecting.”
It is “highly unlikely” the settlement is “the last chapter of the story,” the conference added in a March 22 Twitter post.
Settlement - State - Provisions - Contracts - Agencies
The settlement means the state must enforce non-discrimination provisions in contracts. Agencies may not turn away otherwise qualified LGBT individuals and must provide orientation or training, process applications, and perform a home study, the Associated Press said.
As of February, Catholic Charities and Bethany Christian Services had helped oversee 1,600 of the state’s 13,000 foster care and adoption cases, state spokesman Bob Wheaton said, the AP reports. Neither agency places children with same-sex couples.
State - Michigan - Contracts - Adoption - Foster
The State of Michigan contracts with 59 private adoption and foster care agencies. Twenty are affiliated with religious organizations, though state officials were not able to say how many follow similar policies, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Lori Windham, senior counsel at the religious freedom legal group Becket, said the attorney general and the ACLU are “trying to stop the state from working with faith-based adoption agencies.”
Result - Thousands - Children - Homes - Windham
“The result of that will be tragic. Thousands of children will be kept from finding the loving homes they deserve,” Windham said March 22. “This settlement violates the state law protecting religious adoption agencies. This harms children and families waiting for forever...
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