Religious Freedom: To Be or Not To Be
Michigan lawmakers passed a faith-based adoption agency bill and now it is on to Governor Snyder for it to be or not to be.
The Detroit News is reporting that Michigan’s Senate passed the bills on a party-line vote of 26-12. The House agreed to the Senate changes yesterday afternoon and it is now on the way to the Governor.
Under the bill, Michigan faith-based adoption agencies could refuse their adoption services in cases that would violate their "sincerely held religious beliefs." The faith based agencies would, though, have to tell couples where else they could find adoption services.
What I believe is pertinent to this discussion is that according to the Michigan Catholic Conference, 17 of Michigan's 62 adoption placement agencies are faith-based. That means that 45 adoption agencies are not and the 17 would refer people to the other 45.
Governor Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel was quoted in the article stating, "This is an entirely separate issue from (a religious freedom restoration act)," and the governor has been crystal-clear on that front. He would ... veto any RFRA legislation that comes as a stand-alone bill."
Gov. Snyder has said in the past that he would only sign such a bill if lawmakers also broaden Michigan's Elliott Larsen Civil Rights act to specifically include gays in its protections.
That does not appear to be in this bill.
Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof was quoted in the article that the legislation "protects the valuable role" of the state's faith-based agencies in publicly funded adoptions and "We just codified what has been the law for five decades — that faith-based agencies are allowed to exercise their religious freedom in placing (adoptive children).”
Democrats believe the legislation would give faith-based adoption agencies a license to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
Do you see this as a license to discriminate?
These faith based agencies my stop their adoption help if they were forced to go against their religious beliefs, do you see that as a problem?
Do religious beliefs matter anymore?
If a group accepts taxpayer money to help facilitate their mission, should “religious beliefs” not be allowed?
Let’s discuss this tomorrow (Friday) on my show The Live with Renk show, which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts at (269) 441-9595.
Or please feel free to start a discussion and write your thoughts in the comment section.