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Michigan Approves Legislation To Keep Gays From Adopting

Following Indiana's controversial 'Religious Freedom Reform Act,' Michigan has passed a similar law affecting adoptions.

Remember that law in Indiana that said businesses could refuse to serve gay people if homosexuality offended the owners' religious beliefs? Michigan just passed a similar law, but it’s specific to adoption agencies -- and it allows the agencies to deny people adoptions on the basis more than just their sexual orientation.

"If you are a Christian, you have a whole range of options available to you from these faith-based agencies,” ACLU staff attorney Brooke Tucker told Michigan news source MLive. “If you're Muslim, if you're Jewish, if you're a same sex couple, you don't."

Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder had previously been critical of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act, saying he would veto anything like it that came to his desk, but it took him less than a day to sign Michigan's new anti-gay adoption legislation into law. The law, which allows faith-based adoption agencies to refuse to place children with anyone they have a "religious objection" to, will officially go into practice in three months.

In Indiana, businesses could not discriminate against people based on their religion, but that's not the case Michigan's new law. While the Indiana law covered all businesses, the Michigan one only pertains to adoption.

The Detroit Free Press Editorial Board quickly condemned the legislation.

“On Wednesday," they wrote, "Republican majorities in both chambers approved a bill that would allow faith-based adoption agencies — including those who take taxpayer dollars to place children who are in the state's custody — to discriminate in the practice of their work."

“The legislation is a craven attempt to cloak discrimination in faith," they continued, "and it leaves the best interests of the 13,000 children in the state's care entirely out of the equation.”

Governor Snyder has stood by his new legislation, saying he signed it because he wanted to help children. A statement from his office reads, “Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation ensuring Michigan children up for adoption have the greatest opportunity to be placed in loving homes.”

The ACLU is planning to take the law to court to try to stop it. Michigan is also one of the states involved in the Supreme Court case on marriage equality that will see a ruling later this month.