Sunday, September 16, 2018

Judge refuses to dismiss lawsuit challenging anti-LGBTQ adoption rules in Michigan

While the walls slowly close in on the Trump Administration, the LBGTQ community must not forget that we also have other business to tend to. And a recent Michigan court ruling in our favor raises the stakes in terms of our ability to have families and be treated fairly as taxpayers.

From The Detroit News:

A federal judge declined Friday to dismiss a lawsuit filed by attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan challenging religious discrimination against same-sex couples in the state’s public child welfare system.
The suit asks U.S. District Judge Paul Borman to enter an order that bars Michigan from entering into contracts with or providing taxpayer funding to private child placing agencies that exclude same-sex couples from consideration as foster or adoptive parents. It also seeks an order directing the state to ensure that lesbian and gay individuals and couples are treated the same as heterosexual individuals and couples by state-contracted child placing agencies. 
The case involves two Michigan couples, Kristy and Dana Dumont and Erin and Rebecca Busk-Sutton, who each sought to adopt a child in foster care but faced rejection from state-contracted child placement agencies based on religious objections to same-sex parents. 
Attorneys for the defendants — St. Vincent Catholic Charities, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director Nick Lyon and state Children’s Services Agency head Herman McCall — recently requested Borman toss out the case. They have argued a 2015 state law says child placement agencies shall not be required to provide services that conflict with their religious beliefs and the plaintiffs could adopt through another agency. In his order Friday, the judge said the couples had successfully argued the religious screening practices harmed them and denied “the same opportunities to work with a child placing agency that is available to every other family in Michigan seeking to adopt.” 

This comes two weeks after the United States Supreme Court refused to hear a case on the behalf of a Philadelphia Catholic agency who wanted the city to still allow them to place children - and get taxpayer funds for it - even though it discriminated against gays.

As I said in the past, the assorted religious right groups will be spinning the lie that not allowing these religious groups to discriminate - and steal LGBTQ tax dollars for the courtesy- is a selfish endeavor on our part and will rob children of good homes.

That is a lie. These agencies are already robbing children of good homes. There is nothing wrong with same-sex households and a multitude of studies bear that up.

But if these agencies want to go that route, let them do it with their own money.

To tell the LGBTQ community that we should, in the name of "tolerance," allow ourselves to be discriminated against and give up our hard earned money to those doing the discriminating is nothing more than gaslighting.  It's a parlor trick or a vile way to promote the idea that somehow we are inferior and should be glad for the second class treatment some want to bestow on us.

The LGBTQ community has fought too hard for what we have attained to allow some to ease it out of our hands with semantic garbage about "tolerance." It's not going to happen. Not without an ugly fight, at the very least.