MICHIGAN: Anti-Gay Adoption Bill Nears Final Approval After Senate Passage
The state Senate gave final approval Wednesday to legislation allowing faith-based foster care and adoption agencies to invoke “sincerely held religious beliefs” to turn away gay and lesbian couples wanting to adopt children. Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, said the legislation “protects the valuable role” of the state’s many adoption agencies with varied goals and “better supports” faith-based agencies already handling state-funded adoptions. Meekhof said the bills as “very close to my heart. I am the proud product of a faith-based adoption,” he said. The Republican-controlled Senate passed the bills on party-line votes of 26-12. Democrats tried to derail the legislation by arguing it would give faith-based adoption agencies a license to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, as well as those of other faiths who want to raise 13,000 Michigan children waiting for adoption. They unsuccessfully sought a series of amendments to the bills.The bill first passed in the House earlier this year in a 65-44 vote. It now goes back to the House for reconciliation, after which it goes to Gov. Rick Snyder.