by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – As legal and cultural fighting continues over religious convictions and LGBTQ rights, America’s largest Christian adoption agency, Bethany Christian Services, has decided to change a longstanding policy and begin placing children with LGBT parents for foster care and adoption through all its offices in 32 states. Christianity Today reported Monday.
Bethany Christian’s new policy announcement comes two years after the agency lost a discrimination lawsuit filed against it in Michigan: in light of the outcome of that case, the agency decided to work with LGBT parents in the state rather than give up on government funding to help thousands of children in foster care.
Announcing the agency’s decision to extend its Michigan policy to all 32 states in which it has offices, and acknowledging it may appear a departure from Christian values to some, Bethany President Chris Pulasky stated in an email to employees: “Bethany remains steadfast in its Christian faith.”
According to Pulasky’s email, the change of direction will enable the agency to expand on its mission “to provide safe, loving, and stable homes to as many vulnerable children as possible,” Christianity Today reports. “We will now offer services with the love and compassion of Jesus to the many types of families who exist in our world today,” Palusky said. “We’re taking an ‘all hands on deck’ approach where all are welcome.”
However, Bethany’s policy change is of concern to religious liberty advocates who want ministries to have freedom to operate in accordance with their conscience and their faith. “[This] move will harm already existing efforts to enable faith-based orphan care ministries to serve the vulnerable without capitulating on core Christian convictions,” Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission said in a statement.
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