Christian adoption agency in Michigan reverses LGBTQ policy

Christian adoption agency in Michigan reverses LGBTQ policy

A Christian adoption agency in Michigan announced that it would be changing a longstanding policy and will now allow LGBTQ parents to adopt.

Bethany Christian Services made the decision to reverse its policy after employees reportedly threatened to walk out if it did not do so, according to local outlet WGVU.

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“Bethany will continue operations in Michigan, in compliance with our legal contract requirements,” the adoption agency told the outlet in a statement. “The mission and beliefs of Bethany Christian Services have not changed.”

The “legal contract requirements” the agency is referencing are the new rules in place that will deny state funding to any adoption agencies that turn away prospective LGBTQ parents due to religious objections.

The new requirement was put in place after a legal settlement was reached between the state’s attorney general and lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which filed a lawsuit in 2017 on behalf of two lesbian couples, one of which alleged Bethany Christian Services turned them away because of their sexual orientation.

The Grand Rapids-based adoption agency accounts for about 8 percent of Michigan’s foster care and adoption cases.

Bob Wheaton, the spokesman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, told the news outlet that he is happy with Bethany’s decision.

"The department will be able to continue its long-standing partnership with Bethany in providing services to children and families,” he said.