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Bullying for a Good Cause returns, this time targeting foster children

by: Eric B.

Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:34:29 AM EST

Remember a couple of years ago, when the Senate decided that the way to address schoolyard bullying by writing a convoluted law that might have, in fact, encouraged it? The enabling thing was that they'd written into it an exemption for bullying carried out involving well-intentioned, religious principles. Well, that's back, except this time the House wants to apply it to foster children hoping to be adopted.

Extremists in the Michigan House of Representatives have scheduled a hearing on November 27th for a bill in the House Committee on Families, Children, and Seniors, which would allow adoption agencies the ability to deny an adoption placement based on that agency's moral or religious beliefs. However, the bill acknowledges that denying a couple based on religious or moral convictions does not imply "that the proposed adoption is not in the best interests of the adoptee." Additionally, the bill protects public funding for agencies choosing to discriminate.

Here's House Bill 5763. Here's House Bill 5764. The upshot is that this would allow adoption agencies to reject an application for adoption because the applicants offend the religious sensibilities of the adopting agency. It would also prevent the state of Michigan from taking action against agencies that do so. In other words, if the state contracts with a private adoption agency, it wouldn't be allowed to break that contract because the agency discriminates.

So, the numbers. In September and October, there somewhere north of 13,500 kids in foster care (the DHS says the average is 14,000). The adoption goal, according to the DHS, is about 2,700, but the agency says every year it adopts out about 300 kids. Elsewhere, and I've lost the source, the state reports that about 350 kids every year "age out" of foster care, where they hit 18 and get dumped by the state onto the street.

Naturally, all those kids go on to lead highly successful lives. Children do best when raised outside loving, nutured environments. They rarely go on to commit crimes and generally help drain public resources in other ways. Making it more difficult for willing parents to adopt has no negative consequences for the rest of us.

It's currently not legal in the state of Michigan for unmarried couples to adopt, by the way, although that law is under a challenge in federal court. Adoptions that would be covered currently involve a single parent adoption into a same-sex couple.

I'll leave to you the rest, which is the question of whether this represents a Michigan really moving into the future, or whether this represents a Michigan moving in one direction while the rest of the country does stuff like recognize same-sex marriages.

Eric B. :: Bullying for a Good Cause returns, this time targeting foster children
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These guys
These guys have got to realize they are now firmly on the wrong side of history, right?  They've got to know that this will be their anti-gay swan song, right?

My guess is that they do not
My guess is that in the state Legislature and within the Lansing Bubble, they don't realize just how badly out of touch they have become with the rest of everyone.

I would hope that this sort of thing would cause benevolent overlord Rick Michigan to shut things down behind the scenes, but he's also going to face pressure over Right to Work.

Among the Trees

[ Parent ]
Just saw
Just saw this weeks re-run of Off the Record, and even Bill Ballenger said they need to back off these culture wars.  He was pissed about the fetal tax exemption.

[ Parent ]

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