Trump Proposal Would Let Faith-Based Organizations Refuse Services To LGBTQ People

Forbes 1 month ago
President Donald J. Trump...
Faith-based adoption and foster care agencies could reject LGBT parents under the proposed ... [+] guidelines.

Topline: A proposed Trump Administration rule would no longer require government funded faith-based organizations to comply with an Obama-era rule that prevented discrimination against LGBTQ people.

  • The proposed rule would apply to organizations that get grants from U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, such as adoption and foster care agencies and programs that assist refugees, homeless youth, those with HIV and the elderly. 
  • Under the proposed guidelines, which reverse nondiscrimination rules put in place by the Obama administration in 2016, faith-based adoption and foster care agencies would be able reject LGBTQ parents wanting to adopt or foster a child, for example.
  • Religious groups applauded the decision, saying that under the new guidelines, faith-based organizations will be able to help their communities in accordance with their religious beliefs without risking their government funding.
  • “Faith-based adoption providers will no longer have to choose between abandoning their faith or abandoning homeless children because the government disapproves of their views on marriage,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in a statement.

Chief critic: LGBT advocates said the rule would permit discrimination and leave vulnerable communities without access to potentially life-saving programs.

“It is unconscionable that the Trump-Pence administration would prioritize advancing discrimination over the wellbeing of vulnerable people and expect taxpayers to foot the bill for their discriminatory policies,” Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said in a statement.

Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said in a statement that “enabling providers of life-saving services to worsen these crises by rejecting transgender people is a moral crime and a severe abdication of HHS’s mission to preserve public health.”

Key background: The Trump administration has been criticized for rolling back LGBT protections before, particularly after it argued earlier this month at the Supreme Court that employers should be able to fire workers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. And in 2017, the Trump administration sparked intense backlash after it imposed a rule that banned transgender people from serving in the military.

Further reading: Read the full proposed rule here.

What’s next: The rule is subject to a 30 day public comment period after it is posted in the Federal Register.


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