There are some things we have come to expect in Michigan since 2010:
- When something is not on Governor Snyder’s agenda it means it is fast tracked;
- When there is a troubling world issue you can expect Terry Lynn Land to fundraise off of it; and
- When conservatives put forward a bill to “protect religious liberty” what they really mean is state-sanctioned bigotry and racism.
Today, the Michigan House Families Children and Seniors committee held hearings on bills that would allow private adoption agencies to refuse to place a child with any family that goes against the organization’s religious or moral beliefs.
Proponents claim the bill will not hinder any adoptions, but if that is true than why do we need the law in the first place? Are we just writing laws to fix problems that don’t exist? Yep – and the nonexistent problem groups like adoption provider Bethanny Christian Services seek to address is legalizing institutional bigotry against muslims and the LGBT community.
Where there’s smoke there’s fire, and the GOP has a long history of passing bills that legalize racism and bigotry.
You’re probably thinking that since these are private organizations they can create their own rules — and you would be correct. However, since the State of Michigan pays these agencies your tax dollars would be used to legally discriminate against potential parents.
Everyone should be able to agree that the best interest of the children should be the foremost issue in any adoption. Allowing organizations to deny adoptions to loving families because they are gay, muslim, or jewish is more than ridiculous — it is harmful.
I think Rev. Nicolette Siragusa said it best, “As a Christian minister, I’m thankful for religious liberty, but no public funds should go to an agency that disregards the best interests of the adoptee in favor of its own discriminatory doctrine. Our state already has a poor record of transitioning children from foster (care) to adoption.”
It is time for right-wing ideologues to stop pushing bills that permit racism and start working on bills that actually help the children of our state.
Many Michigan adoptions are funded partially by federal Title IV-E funds. The federal government does not allow those funds to be used for agencies that discriminate, which is against FEDERAL law. So, if this passes, it’s quite likely that Michigan will lose the federal match money that pays for the costs of adoptions done by the Michigan agencies that choose to discriminate.