Kristy and Dana Dumont, a couple of 11 years from Dimondale Michigan, were ready to start their family. They specifically wanted top open their home to a child in need, and began inquiring with various agencies about initiating the foster-adopt process. When they contacted Catholic Charities and Bethany Christian Services, however, the couple was flatly denied on the basis of their sexual orientation.
"It was kind of a slap in the face," Dana told NPR in a recent interview. "They didn't even know us. How could you say no to people who you don't even know?
Now, the ACLU is suing Michigan's Department of Health and Human Services and the Children's Services Agency, arguing the couple was illegally rejected. According to the suit, the ACLU claims faith-based organizations such as Catholic Charities and Bethany Christian Services use a "religious test" to discriminate against LGBTQ couples, which is illegal since these groups receive funding from the state government.
"This practice harms vulnerable children by denying them access to loving families that they desperately need," the suit says, claiming such a move stands in violation of the Establishment and Equal Protection Clauses of the United States Constitution. While private adoption agencies are free to "practice their religion" as they see fit, the lawsuit goes on, they are not free to deny services to LGBTQ families when those services are state-contracted and taxpayer-funded.
"We are just one couple in this situation," Kristy told NPR. "There are lots of couples out there. If it's happening to us, it's happening to others as well."
Click here to read the complete ACLU lawsuit. Gays With Kids will be sure to keep our readers abreast of this case as it unfolds.