Michigan House of Reps. Copyright Getty Images Photo by: Bill Pugliano

State Contracted Adoption Agencies in Michigan Can Now Turn Away LGBT Couples Again

Last week, District Judge Robert Jonker in Grand Rapids, Mich., ruled that religious-based adoption agencies that contract with the state can turn away LGBT couples looking to adopt a child, the Associated Press reported.

The preliminary injunction that Jonker issued blocked Democratic state Attorney General Dana Nessel’s effort to forbid religious-based adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBT couples. Nessel made history in Michigan for being the first openly gay statewide officeholder.

It’s a blow to the LGBT community and their allies. Earlier this year, Nessel had a win when she reversed the state’s stance on LGBT adoptions through a legal settlement between LGBT couples and the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Related Article: Suspect Arrested in Hate Crime Shooting of Latin Transgender Woman in Dallas

That was all pushed backward when Jonker issued the injunction, claiming that Nessel’s legal settlement was in conflict with Michigan state law, existing contracts with religious-based adoption agencies and “established practice,” the AP reported.

A spokeswoman for Nessel told the AP her office was reviewing the judge’s decision to determine what to do next.

Nessel’s attempt to change the way Michigan handles contracts with religious-based adoption agencies began in March, when she struck a deal with the American Civil Liberties Union to resolve a 2017 lawsuit filed by two same-sex couples. The eventual settlement reached said that a 2015 law, supported by Republicans, that allows adoption and foster agencies to not provide services for LGBT couples does not apply if they are under contract with the state.

It is this settlement that Jonker rejected.

“Today’s ruling requires the state to put the individual religious beliefs of foster care agencies ahead of the welfare of children,” Jay Kaplan, staff attorney for the ACLU of Michigan’s LGBT Project, told the AP. “This will not facilitate foster and adoptive placements for children in need. Instead, it will allow agencies to turn away same-sex foster parents who are able to provide supportive and loving homes for these children.”

Latest News

NOD Forum: Honoring the Disability Rights Movement

The road to disability rights has been a long one. One that started long before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 was passed. In celebration of 40 years of the National Organization on Disability, disability leaders, supporters and activists gathered in Washington, D.C last week to discuss the…

5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: September 29

As the saying goes, the news never stops — but there’s a lot of it out there, and all of it doesn’t always pertain to our readers. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories that matter most to our diversity focused audience. 1. Research Outlines Lack…

Marriott International building

Marriott International Receives 12 Platinum Honors at the MUSE Creative Awards

Originally published at Marriott International is a Hall of Fame company.   Marriott International’s unmatched portfolio of luxury brands earned 12 Platinum Awards representing 5 dynamic brands, across 10 categories in the 2022 MUSE Creative Awards — an international competition for creative professionals. The industry leader within the luxury…

Marriott International Debuts Its New Global Headquarters Focused on Wellbeing

Originally published at Marriott International is a Hall of Fame company.   After six years of planning, design and construction, Marriott International has opened its global headquarters in downtown Bethesda, Maryland. The 21-story, 785,000-square-foot, LEEDv4 Gold-certified building is the new workplace for corporate associates, supporting over 8,100 hotels in 139…