Faith-based adoption bills go to House

Agencies receive $10M a year in taxpayer funds

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter

LANSING, Mich. - After languishing in last year's lame duck session, bills allowing faith-based adoption agencies that receive taxpayer dollars to refuse service to gays and unmarried couples are ready for a full vote by the state House. Sources told Local 4 they are expected to easily pass Wednesday.

The bills are coming as Michigan is in the forefront of the firestorm over LGBT marriage. Remember, it's a Michigan case involving two Oakland County nurses who want to be able to adopt each other's children that will  be heard in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in a matter of weeks.

Right now, faith-based adoption agencies in Michigan receive about $10 million a year in taxpayer funds. Is it discriminatory against gays to allow those agencies to refuse service to gay couples? State Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, (R) Columbus Township, who is leading the charge on the bills, said no.

"Our faith-based agencies play a crucial role in Michigan's successful adoption rates today, and I want to make sure they can continue into the future," LaFontaine said.

However, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and Equality Michigan do see discrimination here and have testified in front of a House committee.

While the bills are expected to clear the GOP majority House, they face an uncertain future in the Senate. 

Local 4 was told the bills will eventually run. The wildcard in all of this is the governor -- if the bills clear both Houses it's unclear whether he'll sign them.

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