Trump Administration Proposes Rule to Protect Faith-Based Adoption Agencies

The Trump administration has proposed a rule that would allow faith-based adoption agencies to apply for federal grants without forcing them to place children with same-sex couples and thereby compromising their beliefs about marriage and family.
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The Trump administration has proposed a rule allowing faith-based adoption agencies to apply for federal grants without forcing them to place children with same-sex couples and thereby compromising their beliefs about marriage and family.

The Trump Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is proposing to end Obama-era regulations that allowed sexual orientation to have protected status under federal anti-discrimination laws. The Obama administration required faith-based foster care and adoption agencies whose beliefs were in conflict with same-sex marriage to obtain a waiver in order to apply for a federal grant.

“The Trump administration has come through once again in defense of religious freedom,” said Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, legal advisor for the Catholic Association Foundation, in a statement sent to Breitbart News.

She explained:

The proposed HHS rule frees faith-based adoption and foster care groups participating in programs that receive federal grants from the prior administration’s demand they include sexual orientation as a protected trait under anti-discrimination protections. This demand, made in the waning days of the Obama administration with no legislative or judicial mandate, limits the good done for needy kids by faith-based agencies because of their longstanding beliefs about marriage. Agencies that find loving foster and adoptive homes shouldn’t be subject to ideological shakedowns by the government.

Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit litigation group that defends religious liberty, said in a statement the proposed rule “details that faith-based groups only need to adhere to nondiscrimination provisions passed by Congress, not any previous agency regulations,” adding the Trump HHS would make the Obama-era regulations “null and void.”

Liberty Counsel added:

Since the new rule would apply to only laws passed by Congress, that means faith-based groups would have to comply with the three main federal laws on equality: the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. All of them protect citizens against religious discrimination but none of them mention sexual orientation.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins applauded the Trump administration for its proposed rule that would end forcing faith-based adoption organizations to compromise their sincerely-held beliefs that children are best served in homes that have a married mother and father.

“This is tremendous news for children, birth moms, and adoptive families, who want the opportunity to work with an agency that shares their values and core beliefs — without fear of government discrimination,” Perkins said in a statement.

“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,” he added. “Under the proposed HHS rule, 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.”

Planned Parenthood condemned the proposed rule, citing Lambda Legal’s criticism of the Trump administration as well:

However, Perkins said faith-based groups that provide adoption services “are motivated by their faith to perform a public service, one that is woefully undersupplied.”

“Discriminating against them for the very reason that motivates them to perform this irreplaceable service is the height of folly,” he said. “We commend President Trump for his courage to stand up for vulnerable children, adoptive families, and those who serve them.”

 

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