The Trump administration announced that it will allow faith-based adoption agencies to exclude LGBTQ families on the basis of religious freedom. The new proposal was announced on the first day of National Adoption Month.
In 2016, the Obama administration introduced a policy to prohibit federally-funded agencies from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services introduced a new proposal that would nullify that rule.
The proposal would make it legal for adoption agencies to refuse to place children with gay couples. The new regulation also applies to other organizations that receive Health and Human Services Grants from the government, including senior citizen programs, refugee resettlement, HIV services, and programs for homeless youth.
Anti-LGBTQ advocates have applauded the proposal as a victory for religious freedom.
“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,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (an anti-LGBTQ group).
Meanwhile, LGBTQ advocates are slamming the new rule. Julie Kruse, Family Equality Council’s director of federal policy, called it “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,” Kruse said, per Advocate.
Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO of GLAAD, agrees. “Children should never be denied the opportunity to join a stable, loving family — even if that means the family is LGBTQ,” she said.
There are over 114,000 foster children awaiting adoption, according to the Adoption Network.
While the new rule is still in proposed status, the administration announced that, as of Friday, it is no longer enforcing the Obama-era nondiscrimination policy.