LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday signed a law letting private adoption agencies with state contracts decline to participate in referrals against their religious beliefs, despite criticism that it amounts to government-sanctioned discrimination against gay couples.
The Republican told The Associated Press that the legislation codifies an existing practice within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, which relies on private agencies to help find temporary or permanent homes for 13,000 children in foster care at any given time.
"Our goal is to get the maximum number of kids adopted by loving families regardless of the loving family's background, whether they're straight or gay," Snyder said in a phone interview.
Only two other states, Virginia and North Dakota, have laws that are explicit in allowing private adoption agencies to turn away prospective parents for religious reasons.