The argument that religious bakeries should be able to refuse service to the LGBT community has now extended to placement of children in need of loving and safe homes.
Not unlike many government functions, Michigan outsources services related to the child welfare system (i.e., foster and adoptive placement) to private agencies. These private agencies receive public funds (a.k.a. tax dollars) in order to allow them to carry out these functions. Because some of these agencies are religiously affiliated, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services allows said agencies to turn away same-sex couples as prospective placements, based on the agencies’ religious objections. This means that children are remaining in foster care for longer periods of time, and when they are placed, they are in jeopardy of being separated from their siblings, and placed long distances from their families.
The ACLU is suing the Department in federal district court, claiming that the Department allowing such discrimination harms children, and is in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
This suit is about so much more than the discrimination felt by same-sex couples who wish to foster or adopt; this is about the what is right for the children of our country.