Taxpayer-Funded Child Welfare Agencies Allowed to Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples

Affiliate: ACLU of Michigan
September 27, 2019 4:45 pm

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DETROIT – As a result of a federal court order issued today, St. Vincent Catholic Charities, a state-contracted and taxpayer-funded child welfare agency, will be allowed to refuse to work with same-sex couples who wish to become foster parents, despite a state contract prohibiting such discrimination. This case, Buck v. Gordon, was filed on April 15 in the Western District of Michigan, which challenged a previous settlement in favor of Kristy and Dana Dumont, prospective foster parents who were turned away from two taxpayer-funded child welfare agencies in 2016 and 2017 because of agencies’ religious objections.

Jay Kaplan, LGBT Project staff attorney of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, has this reaction:

“Today’s decision requires the state to put the individual religious beliefs of foster care agencies ahead of the welfare of children. 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.”

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