New Michigan law allows faith-based adoption agencies to refuse service to gays and lesbians

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says the state is 'focused on ensuring that as many children are adopted to as many loving families as possible regardless of their makeup.’Reuters

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law three bills that will allow faith-based adoption agencies which get state funds to refuse service to gays and lesbians.

Snyder signed the bills despite criticisms that the law is tantamount to imposing a government approved discrimination against LGBT couples.

He signed House Bills 4188, 4189 and 4190 to "help continue Michigan's successful placement of children with loving families by codifying current adoption practices within the state."

"The state has made significant progress in finding more homes for Michigan kids in recent years and that wouldn't be possible without the public-private partnerships that facilitate the adoption process," Snyder said. "We are focused on ensuring that as many children are adopted to as many loving families as possible regardless of their makeup."

Snyder was cricitised by Michigan Democrats, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan, which said it will file a lawsuit to void the new law.

Michigan House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel said he is "bitterly disappointed by Gov. Rick Snyder's signing of the adoption discrimination bills into law today."

"Just three months ago, Snyder said he would not support a proposal allowing people and businesses to use their faith as legal grounds to discriminate. I can't understand his action today as anything other than a betrayal of Michigan's diverse population," Greimel said.

He said adoption agencies receive taxpayer money and these should not be allowed to discriminate against anyone and the focus should be what's best for the child.

ACLU-Michigan deputy director Rana Elmir said they will file a lawsuit.

"We're deeply disappointed that Governor Snyder signed this dangerous legislation. We are developing a lawsuit with our Muslim, Jewish, Christian and LGBTQ partners. We encourage any family looking to adopt or foster children who believe they will be adversely affected by this law to contact us immediately," she said.

The HRC condemned Snyder for signing what it calls a "package of extreme anti-LGBT adoption bills into law."

"Governor Rick Snyder has proven today that he has utter disdain for the welfare of children in Michigan and that he cares only about empowering backwards discrimination," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "This legislation keeps children in need out of the loving homes they deserve, and it sets this great state back decades."