Michigan’s religious adoption agencies win reprieve
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 9/27/19, 11:30 am
A federal judge ruled Thursday that religious adoption agencies in Michigan may continue, for now, to place children exclusively in homes that reflect the agencies’ Biblical beliefs about marriage. U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker in Grand Rapids granted a preliminary injunction against a requirement by the state attorney general that foster and adoption agencies place children with LGBT couples. In issuing the order, which is in effect while a lawsuit is underway, Jonker said the rule conflicted with state law, existing contracts, and established practice.
What reasoning did the judge give? St. Vincent Catholic Charities in Lansing filed a complaint against the state for First Amendment violations in April, and Jonker said the agency would likely win the case. The judge said the attorney general’s move to cancel Michigan’s contract with St. Vincent—part of a settlement with a lesbian couple who sued the state—“strongly suggests the state’s real goal is not to promote nondiscriminatory child placements but to stamp out St. Vincent’s religious belief and replace it with the state’s own.”
Dig deeper: Read Steve West’s report in Liberties about St. Vincent’s lawsuit.
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