News Release: House Committee Votes to Oppose Discrimination, Uphold Religious Liberty for Faith-Based Child Placement Agencies

September 25, 2013

(Lansing)—Today the House Families, Children and Seniors Committee voted to support legislation that will protect the long-established relationship between the State of Michigan and faith based agencies in the field of adoption and foster care placements. Michigan Catholic Conference, the primary supporter of House Bills 4927–4928 and 4991, praised the committee for voting in support of the bills that will uphold religious liberty rights for faith based agencies and prevent discrimination against such entities.

“It is vitally important for the Michigan Legislature to uphold first amendment religious liberty rights,” said Tom Hickson, Michigan Catholic Conference Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy. “Protecting the religious mission of adoption and foster care agencies will not only ensure diversity in child placement, it will also safeguard such agencies from undue discrimination. This legislation does not prohibit adoption to any classification of person; it merely codifies into state law the work that non-public, faith based agencies have conducted for decades on behalf of Michigan’s most vulnerable children and families. Michigan Catholic Conference applauds Representative Kenneth Kurtz for his leadership on this matter, and the Conference now urges the full House to support the civil rights of religious organizations.”

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

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