LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Senate has voted to let faith-based agencies with state contracts refuse to participate in adoption referrals that violate their beliefs, over objections that the legislation would permit discrimination against gay couples.
The Republican-backed legislation was approved 26-12 almost entirely along party lines Wednesday. It returns to the House because minor changes were made.
Supporters say the legislation codifies a state agency’s existing practice for private agencies with child-placing contracts. Agencies with religious objections to a prospective adoption would have to refer an applicant to another agency.
Opponents say the bills ignore children’s best interests and legalize discrimination.
Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has expressed concerns the legislation could lead to lawsuits. Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof expects the House to send the bills to Snyder’s desk later Wednesday.