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A WGVU initiative in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation using on-air programs and community events to explore issues of inclusion and equity.

Bethany Christian Services changes policy and will now be placing children with LGBTQ+ parents


According to an employee at Bethany Christian Services, who agreed to share information on condition of anonymity, last week they along with a group of other employees told the organization they would walk out of their jobs unless the policy changed. 

On Thursday, Bethany Christian Services officially announced in a statement that they were changing their policy. 

“Bethany will continue operations in Michigan, in compliance with our legal contract requirements. The mission and beliefs of Bethany Christian Services have not changed.”

This new development comes several weeks after the state of Michigan settled a lawsuit with the American Civil Liberties Union and two gay couples who sued the state in 2017. 

“We filed a lawsuit challenging the state of Michigan’s practice of permitting state contracted tax payer funded foster and adoption agencies to refuse to work with same sex couples citing the agencies religious beliefs.”

That is Jay Kaplan from the ACLU. He says by settling the state agreed to put the needs of children first.

“Where by the state of Michigan agreed to hold these contracting agencies to the contract language of non-discrimination, because children in foster care need every family that is willing and able to provide them with a loving home.”

According to the statement from Bethany, the organization said that they were disappointed with how the settlement agreement had been implemented by the state.

Kaplan says the state is entitled to require these agencies to accept all qualified families. 

“When agencies choose to accept tax payer dollars to provide public child welfare services in the foster care system the state is entitled to require them to put the needs of children first.”

Bob Wheaton from the Michigan Department of Health and Human said that they are pleased with Bethany's change in policy. 

"The department will be able to continue its long-standing partnership with Bethany in providing services to chidlren and families."

Michellle Jokisch Polo, WGVU News