The state of Michigan has been accused of frustrating efforts by gay couples to become foster parents by adopting children, according to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU), on Wednesday.

The suit claims that the state has been paying religious organizations such as Bethany Christian Services and Catholic charities to place children from troubled backgrounds into foster care homes.

This has led to the faith-based organizations administering religious tests to would-be foster parents, resulting in gay couples being rejected. ACLU in its suit called the practice illegal and going against the US constitution, Fox News reported.

Loving homes

According to ACLU's lead lawyer Jay Kaplan, the discrimination has led to many foster children missing out on loving and caring homes and remaining in the foster care system longer than necessary.

Kaplan revealed to Fox News that the suit was filed after numerous efforts to discuss the issue with Michigan's Attorney-General Bill Schuette's office about the matter failed. He said the AG's office refused to speak to ACLU prompting the filing of the suit.

The lawyer was quick to add that the suit did not target the faith-based organizations, but the State Of Michigan for allowing discriminatory adoption practices against gay couples.

Adoption services

The rejection of gay couples as foster parents is in the state laws of Michigan. In 2015, Republican Governor Rick Snyder signed a law that put the faith-based organizations firmly in the driving seat of adoptions in the state.

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According to the law, charities and organizations are not required to provide services that are not in line with their beliefs. This is the law that is responsible for shutting out prospective gay couples who want to adopt children.

Although the law was signed before the Supreme Court legalized gay marriages, the state did not repeal or update the law after the legalization ruling.

Plaintiffs

When Dana and Kristy Dumont got married, they had plans to adopt a child but have so far been turned away by two state-contracted agencies who claim that they do not deal with same-sex married couples.

The two agencies are faith-based, and Dana and Kristy have been enjoined in the ACLU suit against the state of Michigan, on discrimination grounds.

Speaking to Fox News, Stephanie White, the Executive Director of Equality Michigan, which is an advocacy organization, termed the denial of same-sex couples to adopt as harmful and offensive.

In response to the suit, The Michigan Catholic Conference, which is responsible for church policies said the lawsuit was "intolerant, divisive and mean-spirited."

The date of the hearing has not been set.