Home Living Today Culture ACLU fights faith-based child placement agencies by Bonnie Pritchett/WORLD News Service

ACLU fights faith-based child placement agencies by Bonnie Pritchett/WORLD News Service

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LANSING, Michigan (BP) — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is challenging a Michigan law that allows faith-based foster care and adoption agencies to operate according to their biblical convictions. The lawsuit, filed against the state Sept. 20 in federal court, could jeopardize similar laws across the nation and force faith-based agencies to close.

The lawsuit names Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Charities, which are not defendants, as foster care and adoption agencies that turned away two married lesbian couples trying to adopt children.

Michigan law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, but laws passed in 2015 provide an exception to that statute for religious agencies. Alabama, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Virginia also have laws providing religious groups legal cover from lawsuits by LGBT activists.

The ACLU campaigned against those laws by threatening to sue and arguing that allowing religious agencies to act according to their faith by refusing to place children with same-sex couples would reduce the number of available foster parents.

Just the opposite is true, argue the laws’ supporters.

When Michigan lawmakers began drafting the religious protection laws in 2013, faith-based groups made up about 25 percent of the state’s child welfare agencies…

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