A Catholic adoption agency will not have to abandon its beliefs on marriage and the family in order to continue working with the state of Michigan for the time being, a federal judge ruled Thursday.
“This case is not about whether same-sex couples can be great parents,” District Judge Robert Jonker wrote in his ruling granting an injunction against new state rules. “What this case is about is whether St. Vincent [Catholic Charities] may continue to do this work and still profess and promote the traditional Catholic belief that marriage as ordained by God is for one man and one woman.”
The ruling bars Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel from acting on the terms of a legal settlement with the ACLU reached back in March that would have forced faith-based organizations that work with the state to place children in same-sex households, regardless of any deeply held religious beliefs. Michigan, like many other states, contracts with private adoption agencies to place foster children in new homes, and the ACLU sued in 2017 saying that prospective LGBT parents had been turned away by christian organizations.
In April, religious liberty legal nonprofit Becket responded to the settlement with a lawsuit on behalf of St. Vincent Catholic Charities, adoptive parents Chad and Melissa Buck, and a former foster child.
Jonker, a George W. Bush appointee, also wrote, “Under the Attorney General’s current interpretation of Michigan law and the parties’ contracts, St. Vincent must choose between its traditional religious belief, and the privilege of continuing to place children with foster and adoptive parents of all types.” The ruling also stated that the state’s position “strongly suggests the State’s real goal is not to promote non-discriminatory child placements, but to stamp out St. Vincent’s religious belief and replace it with the State’s own.” (Read more from “Federal Judge Sides With Christians in LGBT Adoption Case” HERE)