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Dumont v. Lyon

Case Concerning Adoption Agencies' Ability to Deny Service to LGBTQ People

Key Date: March 22, 2019
Status: Resolved
Legal Team: ACLU
Type: Other LGBT Litigation

Case Overview:

Dumont v. Lyon is a case challenging a Michigan law that allows state-funded adoption agencies to cite religion as a reason for turning away foster parents or adoptive parents based on their sexual orientation.

Under a law passed in 2015, the ACLU writes, “the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services permits child placement agencies to turn away prospective foster and adoptive families headed by same-sex couples based on their religious objections. Many agencies doing child placement work in Michigan are faith-based agencies, some of which have religious objections to placing children with same-sex couples.”

The case is being led by the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan.

Latest in the Case

A July 12, 2018 hearing was held on opponents’ Motion to Dismiss, and plaintiffs’ opposition and a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs was issued in September 2018.

In March 2019, the state of Michigan reached a settlement with the plaintiffs, with the state agreeing to enforce nondiscrimination provisions in its foster care and adoption agency contracts. This effectively resolves the case.

Case History:

  • September 21, 2017: The ACLU files a complaint challenging the 2015 anti-LGBTQ law granting child welfare agencies a license to discriminate.
  • July 12, 2018: A federal judge holds a hearing in the case.
  • September 14, 2018: A U.S. District Court Judge in Michigan denies a motion to dismiss a case brought by two married, lesbian couples who sought to adopt children in foster care and were turned down by state-contracted and taxpayer-supported foster and adoption placing agencies based on religious opposition to same-sex couples.
  • March 22, 2018: The ACLU and Michigan reach a settlement in the case, with the state agreeing to enforce nondiscrimination provisions in its foster care and adoption agency contracts. This effectively resolves the case.

Last Updated May 1, 2019

ACLU Case Page News Article on Settlement

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