Thursday, Gov. Rick Snyder (R) approved a bill that will allow private adoption agencies to deny adoption to prospective parents on the grounds that providing services would violate religious beliefs.

Many see this bill as targeting same-sex couples, and is widely opposed by LGBTQ advocates.

The state House passed the bill in a 65 to 44 ruling in accordance with Snyder’s decision.

The law protects any government-funded child-placing agency against legal action by state or local governments for refusing services considered contrary to the agency’s religious convictions. However, the Senate included a stipulation that any couple refused adoption rights would be referred to another agency or to a state website.

Joshua Pugh, former Michigan Democrats communications director, was incredulous about the law.

“It’s really disgusting that in 2015 that we are literally legalizing discrimination against people because of who they are or who they love.”

Pugh said he finds the timing of this law incredible, in light of the impending U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the legality of same-sex unions.

Snyder told the Associated Press he anticipates litigation in response to the law, which he has received in the past — specifically, the 2012 lawsuit filed by April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, who challenged Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban.

Pugh agrees the passage of this law is allowing a state-funded service the immunity of a church.

“The U.S. Constitution couldn’t be any more clear about how the state should treat religion and religious agencies,” said Pugh, “They should not be supported with taxpayer dollars — it’s completely inappropriate.”

The bill was received by Snyder Wednesday from the largely Republican state Senate.

Gideon Dassandro, spokesman for Speaker of the House Kevin Kline, stated the law is necessary for the future of Michigan’s adoption agencies.

“There is a compelling case to be made that without this bill, it is possible that you could see a lot of adoption agencies shut down in the future.”

Dessandro said these agencies are largely Catholic or Lutheran, and if the law is changed it would have repercussions for the system.

“Hypothetically, in the future, so that they have to accept LGBTQI couples, a lot of them said that they would shut down and it’s happened in other states,” said Dessandro.

According to Dessandro, these private charitable agencies account for one-third of the state’s child-placing services, the contract basis without which the government could not support the rising demands

“The state relies on them to do this job because the state just doesn’t have an alternative. Not nearly enough to meet the capacity,” Dessandro said. “If all these charities step away from the game, there’s a lot of kids that are just left without anyone looking out for them.”

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