Jay B
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Jay B

Lansing, Michigan, United States | SELF

Lansing, Michigan, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop Acoustic


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"Bills could restrict gay parenting"

all of the Lansing residents' children are teenagers, and this weekend they celebrated Antonio Grettenberger's — who at 18 is the oldest — graduation from high school.

Boudreau said she and her partner were lucky to find a judge who approved both of them to be legal parents of the children.

For members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, adopting children can be a struggle, she said.

Many fear it's going to become even tougher with the introduction of several bills into the state House of Representatives.

The bills, both sitting in the House Family and Children Services Committee, would allow agencies that place children in adoptive homes to refuse to place them if the situation violates the agency's written religious or moral convictions.

The bill also states that the state or local government can't deny the agency a grant or contract because of the agency's policies on placing children in situations when it violates its moral or religious beliefs.

The bill would apply to agencies that offer private adoptions and placements through the state with children from foster homes.

Rep. John Stahl, R-North Branch, who sponsored one of the bills, said it would protect the First Amendment religious rights of agencies that don't want to do placements that violate their beliefs.

"They want to look for the best placement they can. They don't want to make placements that would violate their convictions," Stahl said. "This would protect agencies from having to violate their conscience."

The legislation could affect adoption agencies like Bethany Christian Services in Grand Rapids.

John VanValkenburg, spokesman for Bethany Christian Services, said the agency has different policies of dealing with individuals who go through Bethany when putting a child up for adoption and when the agency deals with the state and children in foster care.

When a person putting a child up for adoption goes to Bethany privately, the agency will require the person who adopts the child to a sign a statement of faith, which states its religious beliefs.

When dealing with children coming from foster care families, the agency follows state guidelines and doesn't require the adoptive parents to sign the statement of faith, VanValkenburg said.

The language of the bill doesn't state what could fall under an agency's religious or moral convictions.

Many are afraid it will mean members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender community could be prevented from adopting children.

Boudreau said more measures that limit adoption shouldn't be implemented.

"When you do adoption assessments you always make judgments," Boudreau said. "But it should be based on what's in the best interest of the child."

Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, said the bills are important because they allow adoption agencies to make their own determination of where a child should be placed.

"Many people of faith believe homosexual behavior is wrong, and many believe strongly that placing children in homes of people involved in that behavior is wrong," Glenn said. "These agencies shouldn't be forced by the state to violate their sincerely held religious convictions."

Jay Kaplan, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan's LGBT program, said the bills don't take into account what is best for the child in the placement.

"It discards potential families that might be in the best interest of the child, but because of the agency's moral beliefs, the children are not being placed in the best home," Kaplan said.

He also objected to the bills because agencies could get state funding and not place children in certain homes, which Kaplan said would be discrimination.

"It would be a situation where the state's paying, using our taxpayer money and allowing them to discriminate," Kaplan said.

Similar legislation has been passed in other states and doesn't belong in Michigan, he said.

Nancy English, executive assistant to the Board of Directors for Michigan Equality, an LGBT political advocacy group, said the issue should be about finding good homes for children, not politics.

"Adults can get over things and not being able to adopt," English said. "What the legislation does is deny children loving homes and a better quality of life." - State News


Party On Neptune
-Outta this World
-I need you to stay
-Picture perfect Love
-Something New
-What's Left Of Me
-Never Fall (radio airplay on 97.5 lansing MI)



My Name Is Jay B. I am 23 years old and live in Bloomfield hills, MI. I was raised by my 2 lesbian Parents and grew up with 2 brothers and one sister.
i went to public schools which in our white-dominate town, always had a bad name. Not counting adolescent sillyness, My parents did a pretty good job steering me out of harms way.
the few times harms' was the only way, we could only blame what we didn't know.
Until i was 9 i lived in detroit on 7 mile and blackstone, ALL black. 98 percent of my life here was spent locked in my bedroom on a urine filled mattress with my brother. we shared the upstairs of this house with our sister and step- sister. the other 2% of that 100 was either spent eating cornflakes and warm water, or at the doctors.
Our parents didn't love us. or they had a weird way of showing it. after 9 years of abuse and neglect, and beatings, we were taken from this home and Me my cousin and brother moved to lansing where we were (eventually) adopted by 2 white lesbians. about 1 year later we also welcomed our cousins sister to the family (2 brothers one sister). this is like reading the back of a book cover. i guess if you wanna know more listen to some stuff. Jaybnation.com