Michigan Senate Sends Discriminatory Adoption Bills To Governor
By Todd Heywood
Originally printed 6/10/2015 (Issue 2323 - Between The Lines News)
LANSING -- Voting along party lines, the Michigan Senate approved a three bill package this afternoon to allow adoption agencies in the state to refuse to adopt or place foster children in homes which do not align with the agency's religious beliefs.
The Senate approved the bills with immediate effect, meaning if Gov. Rick Snyder signs the bills, they will take immediate effect with no waiting period. The Michigan House approved the bills earlier this spring.
It is unclear if Snyder will veto the legislation or sign it into law.
"Gov. Snyder will be taking a close look at the bills once they are approved in both chambers and are formally presented," Snyder spokesman Dave Murray tells Between The Lines by email. Murray declined to answer questions as to whether Snyder believed the legislation was in the best interest of Michigan children or if he supported the legislation.
During debate on the Senate floor, Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-Olive Township, encouraged his colleagues to support the legislation to "codify decades of practices."
"I'm the proud product of a faith-based adoption," Meekof said.
The Williams Institute reports that 250 Michigan foster kids are currently residing in LGB headed households, and another 3,460 children had been adopted by LGB households.
In a May brief on the three bills, the California based organization reported that in the U.S. 54 percent of lesbians report wanting to adopt children, while only 37 percent of heterosexual women reported such a desire. The organization said there was no comparable data on gay men versus straight men. But making an assumption that a similar number of bisexual or gay men as lesbians wanted to adopted, the organization estimated there were 35,000 LGB homes available to adopt in Michigan.
"These individuals may not be considered as adoptive or foster parents or may not pursue adoption or fostering as a result of agencies' religious or moral objections to their sexual orientation or a fear that such objections could be raised," the organization wrote in its May brief.
"Gov. Snyder has claimed he wants to make Michigan a welcoming place and that he doesn't believe in discrimination. It's time for him to act on those supposed convictions and veto this dangerous legislation," said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. "Conservative elected officials have been hell-bent in their quest to enshrine discrimination into state law and this is the next chapter of that effort. Discrimination has no place in Michigan and this legislation will ultimately hurt children, loving families and the entire state. Gov. Snyder has the opportunity to prove that the welfare of children in our state is more important than partisan politics. We urge him to veto this bill immediately."
Congressman Dan Kildee, MI-05, issued the following statement today after the Michigan State Senate passed the package of anti-LGBT adoption bills:
"It is astounding to me that Republicans in Lansing, rather than working to fix Michigan's crumbling roads, instead chose to spend their time today codifying discrimination into state law. This latest package of anti-LGBT bills does nothing to create jobs or spur our state's economy. Instead it gives the state a license to discriminate against loving Michigan families. The State Legislature should be ashamed of their misplaced priorities and I hope that Governor Snyder vetoes this package of extreme bills."
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As an openly gay man, Fred Hoffman said, "I really didn't know if there would be an issue." And while he wasn't waving rainbow flags when he was recruited by Chrysler in 1988, he was told being gay wasn't a problem.View More Automotive
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