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Amidst Pride Celebrations, the Acton Institute defends faith based adoption agencies which deny same sex couples the ability to adopt

June 16, 2019

Last Wednesday, while Grand Rapids and communities across Michigan were getting ready to celebrate Pride, the Acton Institute posted an article under their Acton Commentary section, entitled, Anti-religious hostility takes aim at foster care and adoption agencies

The article talks about the recent decision of Michigan’s Attorney General, Dana Nessel,  to overturn previous Michigan legislation, which would allow faith-based agencies to deny same sex couples from adopting.

HB 4188 was passed in 2015 and often framed as a religious freedom bill. The legislation allowed adoption agencies in Michigan the ability to deny LGBT couples/partners/families from adopting because it violated the “sincerely held religious beliefs” of most of the adoption agencies in Michigan, like Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Charities of West Michigan.

We reported on this piece of legislation in 2015, since the bill was introduced by Rep. Andrea LaFontaine (R). Rep. LaFontaine received $8,100 in campaign contribution in 2014 from the DeVos family, as did many of the cosponsors of HB 4188.

The Acton Institute post referenced above frames the issue as an anti-religious issue, what the author of the post says is because of rampant anti-religious bias in American society today.”

The Acton Institute post is full of misinformation, when it claims that “LGBT activists groups, are seeking to shut down some of the most effective foster care and adoption providers in the country.” The truth is that LGBT groups are not trying to shut down faith-based foster care and adoption providers, they are simply trying to prevent these groups from denying same sex couples from adopting from those agencies. This is significant in Michigan, since many of the foster care and adoption agencies in Michigan are faith-based.

We reported in late April, that Catholic Charities of West Michigan had filed a lawsuit against the State of Michigan because of Attorney Nessel’s decision. The legal group that Catholic Charities hired is Alliance Defending Freedom

We also reported in April that Alliance Defending Freedom was on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s hate map, listing these claims:

Therefore, it should not be a surprise when one sees that the Acton Institute article that is talking about this issue is authored by Kate Anderson, who serves as legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom.

Not only does the Acton Institute promote homophobia, they allow hate groups to use their online presence as a mechanism to spread hate, all on the pretext that there is, “rampant anti-religious bias in American society today.”

This is further evidence to the analysis we provided last Thursday, where we argued that Acton University being held in Grand Rapids this week will do as much if not more harm that a bunch of neo-Nazis coming to town.

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