In a move that surprises no one and saddens many (though clearly not enough), the Michigan State House is considering a new law that puts the LBGT community in the crosshairs. The proposed anti LGBT bill (allegedly pro-religion) would allow for adoption agencies with “faith based objections” to turn away gay or lesbian people trying to adopt a child. To be clear, the law does not specifically cover private agencies that are funded solely by a particular religious organization. Rather, the law covers adoption agencies that receive state money.
Now let’s be perfectly clear about the situation. This means that state tax dollars could be funding organizations that publically, openly, and with financial protection from the State of Michigan would be allowed to discriminate against members of the LGBT community.
Proponents of the bill claim that the law is not about discriminating against LGBT persons, but is actually about protecting the rights of the organizations. The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Ken Kurtz (R) says that agencies who want to turn away a family would inform the State and then the families would be referred to another agency. In their minds, this is not an anti LGBT bill. Unfortunately what Rep. Kurtz skims over is the fact that the law allows for State sponsored discrimination. Just saying a bill isn’t discriminatory doesn’t mean it’s actually not discriminatory, no more than saying a particular food is low-calorie when it is really the equivalent of eating a dozen doughnuts. While we at Nessel and Kessel Law concede that the comparison is strange one, it serves to prove the point that just because you say something doesn’t make it true. This is never more obvious that in a case like this, where a law sanctions state funded discrimination against a particular group.
Here is a link to a story by Fox 2’s Amy Lange, featuring Dana Nessel.