Religious Freedom or Children’s Rights: Which Matters More?

By Ian Wendrow
Listen Up, Lansing

LANSING-Organizations across Lansing are responding to a package of bills passed by the Michigan House of Representatives, which allows state funded agencies the right to deny service to potential parents based on “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Of the multiple faith based adoption agencies in Michigan, Bethany Christian Services (BCS) is the largest among them. When contacted, BCS refused to speak directly to reporters but did release a press statement addressing the proposed bills:

“The legislation approved by the House preserves in law Michigan’s longstanding public/private partnership with a diverse group of private, secular, and faith-based agencies that work side-by-side to find permanent, loving homes for vulnerable children. It doesn’t restrict anyone from participating in foster care or adoption, but it does preserve for faith-based agencies the freedom to be faithful to our convictions,” it read. However, not all of Lansing agrees with the statement that the bills do not restrict parental candidates. Equality Michigan, the only statewide advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) peoples and HIV sufferers with offices in Detroit and Lansing, spoke out at an anti-adoption bill rally.

Smoke Shop Ban

Hanging in the local Hookah lounges Blue Midnight and Six Lounge, has become somewhat of a past time for students and city residents in East Lansing but after much review and debate City Council has voted in favor of a new law that will ban future smoke shops from opening their business in the city. Focal Point’s Cortni Moore brings you the story.

Mason residents react to Canadian penny legislation

By Cody Harrell
Mason Times staff writer

MASON—Citizens working cash registers in Mason are not looking forward to the U.S. Mint’s consideration to stop penny production. Mason storeowners and residents are considering the benefits of abandoning the penny in response to the national debate over currency expenses. Kean’s General Store owner Theresa Wren doesn’t see the value of keeping pennies around. “All of the product that is marked as $9.99 or $3.49 would just be rounded up and easier to read.”

A Chicago Tribune article published Feb. 5 addressed the debate concerning the recent decision by Canadian legislatures to discard the penny as legal tender.

Young boaters may need safety course to drive

Capitol News Service
LANSING—Michigan waterways may soon be safer due to a package of bills that would define operating requirements for drivers under 12. Michigan allows children under 12 to operate a motorboat between 6 and 34 horsepower if they are supervised by someone 16 or older. It is the only state to allow this except for the mostly landlocked states that have no boating restrictions such as Wyoming and South Dakota. Under Michigan law, There are no restrictions to driving a boat under 6 horsepower and under no circumstance can someone under 12 operate a boat with 35 horsepower or more. The proposed bills would require boaters 12 and under to receive a boating safety certificate approved by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.