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Judge Hears Arguments In Same-Sex Adoption Case

St. Vincent Catholic Charities photo
Kevin Lavery
St. Vincent Catholic Charities

The ACLU said a state policy regarding state contracts with faith-based adoption agencies is unconstitutional. A judge will decide whether a lawsuit filed by the ACLU against the state will go forward.

The state allows organizations that provide child placement services to deny same-sex couples who want to adopt on religious grounds. These are agencies that receive money from the state.

The ACLU is fighting the policy on behalf of same-sex couples who were turned away from places like St. Vincent Catholic Charities.

Stephanie Barclay is with the Becket law firm.

It represents St. Vincent Catholic Charities, a defendant in the lawsuit.

Barclay said without the state’s money, St. Vincent would have to end its adoption services.

“The only people who will lose if the ACLU lawsuit prevails are children in this state who need safe and loving homes," said Barclay.

Leslie Cooper is with the ACLU of Michigan. She said the state’s argument doesn’t hold up.

“It doesn’t sort of change the injury, the harm that happens of being told your kind is unacceptable to be a parent," said Cooper.

The ACLU said the state cannot give money to an agency that uses it to discriminate against same-sex couples. 

The state said the adoption organizations are not state agencies – and the money from the state is not used specifically for faith-based purposes.

The judge did not say when he would rule. 

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County.
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