Republican Governor Rick Snyder on Thursday signed legislation that critics say will allow private adoption agencies to refuse to place children with gay and lesbian couples based on their religious beliefs.

Snyder signed three bills into law.

The bills allow faith-based agencies that contract with the state to refuse to place children with couples on religious grounds. Sexual orientation is not specifically mentioned in the legislation. But it's widely seen as a response to an upcoming Supreme Court ruling in a case challenging gay marriage bans in four states, including Michigan.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said that it plans to challenge the new laws in court.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, condemned the legislation.

“Governor Rick Snyder has proven today that he has utter disdain for the welfare of children in Michigan and that he cares only about empowering backwards discrimination,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “This legislation keeps children in need out of the loving homes they deserve, and it sets this great state back decades.”