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Religious Freedom Gets A Reality Check

By Charlotte Robinson, November 19, 2021

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has announced that it's restoring the application of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to a case-by-case determination as required by Congress. HHS will also rescind state waivers from the Trump administration that created blanket exemptions & allowed millions of federal dollars to fund discrimination against people of faith, LGBTQ families & others in the child welfare system. Maggie Siddiqi, Senior Director of Religion & Faith at the Center for American Progress stated, “Congress enacted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to protect the free exercise of religion, particularly for religious minorities. It was never intended to allow discriminatory practices that undermine religious freedom. The prior administration’s waivers misused RFRA in a manner the House Ways & Means Committee characterized as ‘improper & unprecedented’ allowing prospective parents to be turned away from adoption agencies simply because of their religious beliefs or any other protected characteristics. In South Carolina, for example, the waiver enabled a Protestant foster care agency to turn away prospective foster parents who were Catholic & Jewish. Far from protecting religious liberty, these waivers subverted this fundamental freedom. Today’s actions by the Biden administration will ensure no child is denied a loving foster home simply because of who their prospective parents are, who they love, or what they believe.” The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research & educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just & free America that ensures opportunity for all. They work to find progressive & pragmatic solutions to significant domestic & international problems & develop policy proposals that foster a government that is “of the people, by the people & for the people. For More Info…

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