LANSING — In light of the recent United State Supreme Court decision reaffirming that businesses open to the public must be open to all, today a package of bills were introduced to end discrimination in our adoption, foster care and marriage laws. The legislative package would amend the state constitution to remove language prohibiting same-sex marriage and ensure that same-sex couples have the same adoption rights as any other couple seeking to adopt a child.
“When two people love each other, nothing should stand in the way of their ability to express that love through marriage or starting a family,” said state Rep. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield), sponsor of House Bills 6229 and 6233. “It is time to show that we here in Michigan are welcoming and inclusive to every person. All couples deserve the right to marry, just as all couples deserve an equal opportunity to adopt a child. With this legislation that dream can become a reality.”
Within the package of bills, HB 6229 sanctions second parent adoption, a procedure which allows a same-sex parent to adopt his or her partner’s biological or adoptive child, regardless of whether their relationship is legally recognized. HB 6233 amends Michigan’s marriage laws to redefine marriage as a civil union between two individuals, rather than a union between a man and a woman.
State Rep. Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo) introduced House Bill 6231 and House Joint Resolution LL within the legislative package. HB 6231 would allow state and local governments to hold adoption agencies accountable if they engage in discriminatory practices based on their religious beliefs, while HJR LL removes language from the state constitution which prohibits same-sex marriage.
“It is extremely important that we take action to protect the rights of all Michigan residents, especially in a time when we cannot rely on our federal government to do so,” said Rep. Hoadley. “By repealing legislation that prohibits state and local governments from taking action against child placement agencies when they discriminate in the adoption process, we will ensure that these agencies are held accountable for their actions.”
State Rep. Tim Sneller (D-Burton) introduced HB 6230 and 6234 within the legislative package. HB 6230 ensures that child placement agencies cannot discriminate against same-sex couples based on religious beliefs, and 6234 amends the Foreign Marriage Act by removing the prohibition against same-sex marriage, allowing same-sex marriages solemnized in other states to be recognized in Michigan.
“No person should be discriminated against based on who they love,” said Rep. Sneller. “It is disappointing that we need to correct these laws in the first place, but I am proud to stand with my colleagues today to promote equality for all here in Michigan.”
The bills’ introductions were timed with June as LGBTQ Pride Month, with House Democratic Leader Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) and Floor Leader Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills) also sponsoring bills in the package.