By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com December 14 2012 5:06 PM ET
The Michigan legislature ended its 2012 session without holding votes on three controversial bills — two that would have allowed adoption agencies to discriminate against gay and lesbian prospective parents, and another that would permit similar refusals of service by healthcare providers if the service requested violated their moral or religious beliefs.
The legislature did not hold votes on House Bills 5739 and 5764, both introduced by Rep. Kenneth Kurtz (R-Coldwater), which would have provided adoption agencies with licenses to discriminate based on moral or religious convictions, reports Equality Michigan, which opposed the bills. Both pieces of legislation had passed the Michigan House Committee on Families, Children, and Seniors, but did not make it to the House floor for a full vote.
Senate Bill 975, introduced by Sen. John Moolenaar (R-Midland), would have allowed healthcare professionals to deny requested services to individuals if the services (or, presumably, the person requesting said services) violated the professional's moral or religious convictions. SB-975 passed the Michigan Senate, but did not come up for a vote in the House.
"This legislative session Michigan extremists seemed suspiciously motivated to keep hurling a wrecking ball at Michigan families," said Emily Dievendorf, Director of Policy for Equality Michigan in a statement. "Fortunately, somebody in Republican leadership relized that the passage of these destructive bills would not be easily forgiven by a majority of Michigan citizens whose support for equality is on the right side of history, and leaders quietly ignored the bills which would have provided countless licenses to discriminate. Michigan voters are much to thank for this change of heart as they stood united, sending thousands of emails demanding that our elected officials end their attempts to deny potential homes to the over 5,000 foster children eligible for adoption. Michigan citizens also insisted that we enforce the powerful tradition of the Hippocratic Oath when providing health care."