This case has been brewing for some years now and it appears it could be coming to an end. Back in 2019, a Lansing-based adoption agency, St. Vincent Catholic Charities sued the state of Michigan. Attorney General Dana Nessel was attempting to force child-placement agencies to consider LGBT people as potential parents even if those services conflict with their sincerely held religious beliefs. The AG stated that the religious belief concern does not apply if they are under contract with the state.
According to reporting by the AP:
Faith-based adoption agencies that contract with the state of Michigan can refuse to place children with same-sex couples under a proposed settlement filed in federal court Tuesday
The preliminary settlement deal still must be approved by a judge.
Under this preliminary settlement the state of Michigan:
cannot terminate or block renewal of St. Vincent's contracts because the agency does not approve a same-sex or unmarried couple as foster or adoptive parents, place a foster child with them or conduct a home evaluation.:
On top of that, the state of Michigan must pay St. Vincent $550,000 for their incurred attorney fees and costs. Thanks, Dana, will that be coming out of your pocket, your departments or us Michigan taxpayers?
Demetrius Starling, executive director of Michigan’s Children's Services Agency, said in a statement. “While this outcome is not what we hoped for, we are committed to providing support to the many members in the LGBTQ+ community who want to open their hearts and their homes”.
David Maluchnik, spokesperson for the Michigan Catholic Conference said “We believe this agreement advances the common good, benefits Michigan’s vulnerable children, and upholds the constitutional right to religious liberty that is a cornerstone of our state and nation”.