Michigan Governor drops religious exemption from pro-lgbt state laws

Adoption, same-sex couples
(Photo: Reuters/Victor Ruiz Garcia) |

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed a directive that removes a religious exemption for faith-based groups contracting with the government, possibly opening the door to forcing them to endorsing LGBT causes.

Gov. Whitmer announced Monday that she had signed Executive Directive 2019-9, an anti-discrimination measure that defines sex discrimination to include “gender identity and sexual orientation.”

The directive also states that it will not alter “the right to freedom of worship or religious belief that the People of the State of Michigan have guaranteed under” the state constitution.

However, it lacks a specific exemption for faith-based groups contracting with the government that former Governor Rick Snyder included in his anti-discrimination directive, which was rescinded upon the issuing of Whitmer’s directive.

“This Directive does not apply to an agreement with a contractor, subcontractor, or grant or loan recipient that is a religious organization qualifying as a 501 (c)(3) organization under the Internal Revenue Code, Title 26, United States Code, section 501 (c)(3),” stated the previous directive

Chris Palusky, president and CEO of Bethany Christian Services, told The Christian Post on Tuesday that his organization “is currently reviewing the Governor’s executive directive.”

In recent times, some states have sought to compel religious adoption agencies opposed to homosexuality that contract with the government to refer children to same-sex couples.

Last August, Catholic Charities of Buffalo announced that they will no longer provide foster care and adoption services because a New York state law would force it to violate Catholic teachings on homosexuality and marriage.

The entity will continue to serve its existing foster families but will not accept new applications until its contract with Erie County Department of Social Services expires in March.

In Philadelphia, Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Social Services were informed last year that they must change their policies on same-sex couples in order to continue contracting with the city.

While Catholic Social Services filed a lawsuit and has refused to change its policy, Bethany Christian Services of Greater Delaware Valley opted to alter its policy to be in compliance with city anti-discrimination law.

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