November 1, 2019

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration proposed a rule today that would allow agencies receiving billions of taxpayer dollars in funding from the United States Department of Health and Human Services to discriminate against program participants based on religion, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. This proposal would impact recipients of a broad range of services including individuals experiencing homelessness, those in HIV prevention programs and children and families involved in the foster care system.

Leslie Cooper, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT & HIV Project, had the following reaction:

“This rule will open the door to discrimination based on faith, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in countless federally-funded programs, including critical programs that serve the more than 400,000 children in foster care around the country. Today the Trump administration has turned its back on each of them. It is despicable that this administration would authorize taxpayer-funded child welfare agencies to discriminate against children and turn away qualified families they desperately need. Children and families should not be denied services because of discrimination.”

This move comes as the Supreme Court is considering whether or not to take a case out of Philadelphia, which requires government contractors to comply with a nondiscrimination requirement to ensure that children do not lose out on any qualified families.

An analysis of the arguments used in this case is here: https://www.aclu.org/news/lgbt-rights/will-the-supreme-court-sanction-the-use-of-a-religious-litmus-test-for-foster-parents/

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