By Paige Winfield Cunningham, – Washington Post – January 13, 2021.
The Department of Health and Human Services has finalized a rule change that will permit social-service providers that receive government funds to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
“Critics claim the new guidance could have wide-ranging implications for agencies that address adoption and foster-parenting, as well as homelessness, HIV prevention, elder care and other public services,” NBC’s Dan Avery reports.
In a submission published in the federal register, HHS said Obama-era nondiscrimination rules violated religious freedom protections.
“Given the careful balancing of rights, obligations, and goals in the public-private partnerships in federal grant programs, the Department believes it appropriate to impose only those nondiscrimination requirements required by the Constitution and federal statutes,” the rule states.
LGBTQ advocacy groups say that the rule is targeted at child welfare organizations. A pending case before the Supreme Court could determine whether adoption agencies receiving taxpayer money can deny services to same-sex prospective parents.