Activist: Bills would let Mich. adoption agencies discriminate - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Activist: Bills would let Michigan adoption agencies discriminate

Posted: Updated:

By Amy Lange
Fox 2 News


SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -- "A license to discriminate," said Gregory Varnum with Equality Michigan.

He is incredulous at what he claims is legislation currently coming before the state House that allows faith-based adoption agencies to discriminate against gays, lesbians and really anybody.

"It would allow adoption agencies to come up with almost any criteria they want and just argue, well, we just don't like you.  You know, you're perfectly qualified to take care of this child.  Nothing about you is bad.  We just don't like your political ideology, so we're going to deny this adoption and keep this child in foster care longer," Varnum said.

14,000 children are in state foster care according to the Department of Human Services.  About 3,000 are available for adoption.

House bills 5763 and 5764 have made it through committee and could come up for a vote at any time despite testimony from same sex adoptive families urging legislators to vote it down.

"Shouldn't matter what their sexual orientation is, we need families for these kids.  There (are) a lot of kids.  There (are) 14,000 some kids in the State of Michigan in foster care, and we need these families," said Kathleen Nelson, who founded the Hands Across the Water adoption agency in Ann Arbor 14 years ago.  She works extensively with same sex couples.

No so with some other agencies.  The Michigan Catholic Conference, for example, supports this legislation.  They say it allows their faith-based adoption agencies to place these children according to their mission.

The Department of Human Services says they're trying to work with their private partner agencies.  The problem is those private partners get taxpayer dollars to place these children in loving homes.

"They're receiving government funds for these services, so they're using taxpayer dollars to deny people adoptions," said Varnum.

That, critics say, doesn't seem to be in anybody's best interest.

"To deny any capable, loving family access to these children is in no one's interest.  It's not in the adoption's agency's interest.  It's certainly not in the child's interest, and it's not in the family's interest, which means it's not in the state's interest," Varnum said.

  • Amy LangeMore from Amy LangeMore>>

  • Charges to be determined after teen dies in car crash

    Charges to be determined after teen dies in car crash

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:59 PM EDT2014-07-28 23:59:07 GMT
    Seven teenagers were on their way back from a bonfire late Friday night. A 16-year-old girl was behind the wheel of the Ford Expedition with her mom also in the car.
    Seven teenagers were on their way back from a bonfire late Friday night. A 16-year-old girl was behind the wheel of the Ford Expedition with her mom also in the car.
  • Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:21 PM EDT2014-07-28 23:21:36 GMT
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
  • How to handle a dog attack

    How to handle a dog attack

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-07-25 21:48:45 GMT
    After a 46-year-old jogger was killed in a dog attack, a local expert gives advise on what to do if you're attacked by a dog.
    After a 46-year-old jogger was killed in a dog attack, a local expert gives advise on what to do if you're attacked by a dog.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Grosse Pointe Park's new farmer's market seen by some as a barrier to Detroit

    Grosse Pointe Park's new farmer's market seen by some as a barrier to Detroit

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:25 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:25:26 GMT
    Some Detroiters are calling for a boycott of Grosse Pointe Park after the city built a farmer's market that they believe cuts off access to and from Detroit.
    Some Detroiters are calling for a boycott of Grosse Pointe Park after the city built a farmer's market that they believe cuts off access to and from Detroit.
  • Detroit teen recovering after basketball accident at park

    Detroit teen recovering after basketball accident at park

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:51 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:51:50 GMT
    A Detroit teen is seriously hurt after an accident at a Detroit park. He has a long road to recovery ahead, but has a strong support system that isn't giving up hope.
    A Detroit teen is seriously hurt after an accident at a Detroit park. He has a long road to recovery ahead, but has a strong support system that isn't giving up hope.

  • Man shot, killed during carjacking on Detroit's west side

    Man shot, killed during carjacking on Detroit's west side

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:37 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:37:16 GMT
    A man was shot to death in an attempted carjacking on Detroit's west side, according to police.
    A man was shot to death in an attempted carjacking on Detroit's west side, according to police.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices