News Release: Catholic Conference Urges Religious Liberty Protections for Faith-Based Child Placement Agencies

September 11, 2013

(Lansing)—Legislation that would ensure the State of Michigan continues its partnership with faith-based child placement agencies for years into the future should be swiftly adopted, Michigan Catholic Conference stated today as House Bills 4927 and 4928 were addressed by the House Families, Children and Seniors Committee. The bills, sponsored by State Representatives Ken Kurtz and Andrea LaFontaine, recognize the conscience rights of faith-based adoption and foster care agencies and would legally protect the right for such agencies to operate according to their religious mission, as they always have.

“The State of Michigan and private, faith-based child placement agencies have developed a highly functional and productive relationship on behalf of Michigan’s vulnerable children,” said Tom Hickson, Michigan Catholic Conference Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy. “These bills will ensure the public/private effort to find homes for children exists well into the future. Faith-based adoption and foster care agencies, Catholic Charities for example, are prevalent in communities throughout the state and offer a multitude of services to destitute and vulnerable persons. It is imperative that the State continues to maintain and strengthen diversity in child placement.”

More specifically, HBs 4927 and 4928:

“Michigan Catholic Conference believes these measures are critical to protecting the conscience rights of child placement agencies in order for their services to continue as they always have,” said Hickson. “We are pleased Representative Kurtz and LaFontaine are spearheading this effort and we further urge the committee and full House to pass these important bills in a timely manner.”

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

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