Back in 2015, long before the changing of the political guard in Michigan in 2019, the state legislature passed, and a Republican governor signed into law a statute protecting the rights of faith-based foster care and adoption agencies from government discrimination for operating on faith-based principles. If agencies like Catholic Charities and others sought to place children with a married mother and father, the state could not cancel their contracts (they operate through contracts with, and also with a certain amount of funding, from the state) or otherwise force them to operate contrary to their religious principles.
The ACLU sued the state in 2017 alleging that the law was unconstitutional because it somehow denied opportunities for same-sex couples to adopt. That of course is not true, since there were, at the time the law was passed, 105 licensed adoption and foster care agencies in the state, many of which are not faith-based.
Fast forward to the 2018 elections, where Democrat Dana Nessel was elected Attorney General. She is a lesbian, and promisednot to enforce the 2015 law. In March, Nessel agreed to settlewith the ACLU case by giving the ACLU everything it demanded, including making it impossible for a faith-based agency to live according to its deeply held religious beliefs about a child’s need for a married mother and father.
Becket Law, a public interest law firm dedicated to defending religious liberty, recently filed a lawsuitagainst the state of Michigan on behalf of a Catholic foster care and adoption agency, a couple who have adopted five special-needs children through that agency, and a former foster child who was adopted by a family that worked with that agency. The lawsuit alleges that the “deal” between Michigan and the ACLU violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. In other words, the deal allows Michigan to discriminate on the basis of religion; treat faith-based agencies differently than secular agencies; and force faith-based agencies to speak a government-approved message about marriage and children that is contrary to their religious beliefs.
The lawsuit has been filed in the federal courts of Michigan and is entitled Buck v. Gordon.