Vote postponed on bills allowing adoption refusals

LANSING (AP) -- A legislative committee is waiting to vote on legislation that would let faith-based agencies in Michigan refuse to participate in adoptions that violate their beliefs.

The House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee was expected to vote as early as Wednesday. But the panel instead tweaked the bills, with a final vote planned later after more testimony is heard.

Advocates say the legislation would codify existing practice into law and preemptively protect adoption agencies from repercussions if Michigan legalizes gay marriage or civil unions.

Critics say faith-based agencies receiving state funding for child placements shouldn't be allowed to discriminate.

It's the latest dispute over "conscience" legislation in the Republican-led Legislature. A separate bill involving objections to contraception and medical procedures is pending in the state Senate.

Published: Fri, Sep 20, 2013