Coalition Letter to HHS Secretary Azar on South Carolina Child Welfare Exemption Request

Please see attached a letter for posting, description: “In this letter, the ACLU and coalition partners wrote to Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, urging the department to reject a request from the state of South Carolina for exemptions from federal nondiscrimination regulations for faith-based, taxpayer-funded child welfare providers. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster submitted the request to the federal government earlier this year on behalf of one state-contracted agency, Miracle Hill Ministries, which exclude a wide variety of South Carolinians from the ability to provide a short-term or permanent homes to children currently in the state’s foster care system — including family members who do not fit the agency’s specification that it will work only with families who are active participants of a Protestant church. The discriminatory request would sanction taxpayer-funded discrimination by organizations providing a government service, violating numerous constitutional and statutory protections.

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