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New Federal Rule Allows Discrimination

By Charlotte Robinson, December 16, 2020

This week the Trump administration published a new regulation that gives faith-based service providers a license to discriminate. Maggie Siddiqi, Director of the Faith & Progressive Policy Initiative at Center for American Progress stated, “This far-reaching regulation will harm the missions of 10 different federal agencies. The government directs taxpayer funds to faith-based & other nonprofit organizations for the purpose of better serving the American people not for the purpose of funding religious organizations. The Trump administration has repeatedly politicized religious communities by claiming to specifically direct funding toward their social service work a clear violation of the separation of church & state all while reducing overall funding for social services. Let it be clear: The sole objective of this regulation is to remove critical protections for the government’s intended beneficiaries & to send a message that religious organizations can discriminate against religious minorities, LGBTQ people or women. Individuals in desperate need of housing assistance, access to health care, job training, food assistance & other critical services may be denied the right to access those services simply because of who they are or how they choose to pray.” Sharita Gruberg, Senior Director of the LGBTQ Research & Communications Project at CAP concluded, “This regulation prioritizes religious exemptions to the law for taxpayer-funded faith-based service organizations while eliminating requirements to ensure access to critical services. The administration alleges that no one will lose access to services as a result of the regulation & dismisses the tremendous amount of evidence that shows the negative impact on LGBTQ people & others. But it is hard to imagine any alternative consequence of this regulation. In fact, it seems likely that this is the intended outcome.”

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