Trump admin to allow adoption agencies to refuse LGBTQ families
The Trump administration is pushing a proposed regulation that would allow taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to refuse LGBTQ families to adopt from them because of religious objections.
This will undo a policy enacted during President Barack Obama that prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation among agencies that receive federal support.
The policy, which was publicized by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), was revealed at the start of National Adoption Month.
Discriminating against LGBTQ families and community
LGBTQ right groups slammed the move, with Julie Kruse, director of federal policy at Family Equality Council, saying the policy was “outrageous.”
“The American public overwhelmingly opposes allowing taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies to turn away qualified parents simply because they are in a same-sex relationship,” said Kruse.
Denise Brogan-Kator, chief policy officer at Family Equality, an LGBTQ families advocacy organization, said this rule would have “enormous” effects as organizations would “now free to discriminate.”
Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and CEO of GLAAD, said: “The Trump Administration has once again demonstrated how they prefer to prioritize the gross work of anti-LGBTQ activists over the safety and well-being of our children.”
Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), said: “This rule is an abuse of taxpayer dollars in the name of empowering hatred and bigotry towards society’s most vulnerable members.”
The NCTE further said the rule would push anti-trans discrimination in programs and services like HIV and STI prevention, opioid, youth homelessness, health professional training, and substance-use recovery.
Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said the proposal would “permit discrimination across the entire spectrum of HHS programs receiving federal funding.”
New policy removes protections for LGBTQ families
The HHS had earlier granted an exemption from the Obama-era policy for the Miracle Hill Ministries adoption agency in South Carolina last January.
In response, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing the HHS and the the state of South Carolina over the exemption given to Miracle Hill Ministries.
The new rule justified itself by declaring that the Obama-era regulations aren’t based on statute, with religious-affiliated groups filing lawsuits over these requirements.
Moreover, the HHS said the regulations are unlawful under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment.
Likewise, they said religious-affiliated agencies would stop providing adoption services if the latter would need to comply with these requirements.
This “would likely reduce the effectiveness of programs funded by federal grants by reducing the number of entities available to provide services under these programs,” the HHS said.
The White House said in a statement: “The federal government should not be in the business of forcing child welfare providers to choose between helping children and their faith.”
Trump backs discrimination in support of religious groups
Last February, President Donald Trump supported religious-affiliated agencies in a speech at the National Day of Prayer to place children in homes consistent with their religious beliefs.
“My administration is working to ensure that faith-based adoption agencies are able to help vulnerable children find their forever families while following their deeply held beliefs,” Trump said.
Tony Perkins, president of the anti-LGBT group, the Family Research Council, lauded the move by the Trump administration.
“Thanks to President Trump, charities will be free to care for needy children and operate according to their religious beliefs and the reality that children do best in a home with a married mom and dad,” Perkins said.