In 2016, the Obama administration added non-discrimination protections for federal funding given by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These protections explicitly denied discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion. The Trump Administration, however, announced on November 1, 2019 a new rule that removes these protections and allows discrimination against these identities. One impact of this rule is that it permits HHS-funded foster care organizations to discriminate against foster parents on the bases of sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion. Based on statements released form the White House, preventing LGBTQ+ individuals and couples from becoming foster parents appears to be the main motivating factor for creating this rule . As HHS also provides funding to child care, HIV treatment, and senior centers, the negative impacts of this new rule are wide sweeping and will be incredibly harmful to those seeking care.
1. Learn more:
- Every Child Deserves a Family: https://everychilddeservesafamily.com/hhs-grants-rule
- Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2019/11/01/new-hhs-rule-would-strip-obama-era-protections-lgbtq-individuals/
- ACLU: https://www.aclu.org/press-releases/aclu-comment-trump-administration-proposal-will-allow-discrimination-federally-funded
- New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/02/us/trump-hhs-lgbtq-rule.html
2. Submit a public comment: This rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register within the next week, and will be followed by an open 30-day comment period Comments are being collected by Every Child Desrves A Family and serve as public record as response to the new rule. Here's an exaxmple of a comment:
It is imperative that there are safe and accepting places for all foster children. Allowing for this rule to continue would limit the number of foster families, restrict families who may be supportive of LGBTQ+ youth, and limit families who represent the religions of all children. The rule harms children in the foster care system, and allows for sweeping discrimination in federal-funded programs. Sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion must remain protected classes for all HHS funded projects.
You can submit a comment now at https://everychilddeservesafamily.com/hhs-comment