US: Proposed HHS rule would roll back LGBTQ protections in adoption, foster care - - PressFrom - US
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US Proposed HHS rule would roll back LGBTQ protections in adoption, foster care

05:41  02 november  2019
05:41  02 november  2019 Source:   politico.com

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"Under the proposed HHS rule , faith-based adoption providers will no longer have to choose between abandoning their faith or abandoning homeless children because the government disapproves of their views on marriage," said Tony Perkins, leader of the Family Research Council. HHS cited a more

Proposed HHS rule would strip Obama-era protections for LGBTQ individuals. Foster care and adoption groups that rely on federal grants would But the proposed rule would also apply to other HHS grants, including those for HIV and sexually transmitted disease prevention, other public health

The Department of Health and Human Services proposed a new rule Friday that would allow recipients of federal grants from the health agency, including faith-based adoption agencies and foster care providers, to turn away same-sex couples.

a sign on the side of a building: The Department of Health and Human Services.© Alex Wong/Getty Images The Department of Health and Human Services.

The rule would roll back an Obama-era regulation that went into effect days before he left office in 2017 that inserted nondiscrimination language on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity when determining the recipients of grants from the agency.

The Trump administration’s move was cheered by religious groups who argued the Obama rule violated those groups’ religious liberties.

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The health department's proposed rule , a rewrite of an Obamacare regulation that bars health care discrimination based on sex, would also strike down "That goal is not changed by this rule ." Severino also defended the decision to roll back LGBTQ patient protections in other regulations, telling

The Trump administration proposal would let foster care and adoption agencies get taxpayer funds even if they exclude LGBTQ families for religious reasons. Under the proposed rule , HHS would redo an Obama-era rule that included sexual orientation as a protected trait under anti-discrimination

But civil rights groups quickly rebuked the move, which came on the first day of National Adoption Month, calling it an attack on the LGBTQ community.

The proposed rule, which is still subject to a public comment period and will likely be challenged in court, strips out language specifically barring against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in favor of prohibiting discrimination to potential grant recipients “to the extent doing so is prohibited by federal statute” or Supreme Court rulings.

Sexual orientation and gender identity are not protected under federal anti-discrimination laws, but would be under a bill passed by the House earlier this year called the Equality Act.

"Under the proposed HHS rule, faith-based adoption providers will no longer have to choose between abandoning their faith or abandoning homeless children because the government disapproves of their views on marriage," said Tony Perkins, leader of the Family Research Council.

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The proposed rule also guts protections against discrimination based on gender identity and sex stereotypes. The new proposal comes on the heels of HHS final regulations on 20-plus federal provisions regarding whether individuals and health care institutions can refuse to provide services

HHS cited a more streamlined approval process, arguing the new language “makes compliance more predictable and simpler” and relieves regulatory burdens, in accordance with an executive order issued by Trump early in his presidency.

LGBT rights groups decried the wide-ranging implications of the rule as proposed.

The new rule “would permit discrimination against LGBTQ people, religious minorities, and women in programs related to foster care, adoption, HIV and STI prevention, youth homelessness, refugee resettlement, elder care programs and more,” said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign.

Evangelical groups have asserted the Obama-era rule threatened to choke off providers willing to help needy children but who refuse to contradict their religious beliefs.

That line of argument is included in a notice of proposed rulemaking, issued Friday, which claims that the current regulation could "reduce the effectiveness of programs funded by federal grants by reducing the number of entities available to provide services under these programs."

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The Department of Health and Human Services proposed a rule Friday that would roll back an Obamacare Trump administration may soon remove transgender health care protections . HHS ' proposed rule comes on the heels of another agency rule that aims to protect health care workers

Why Trump Is Rolling Back LGBTQ Health - Care Protections . LGBTQ activists are concerned that rule changes from the Trump administration will affect their access to health Advocates for LGBTQ and women’s health care see this proposed reversal as a pointed attack on transgender people and

As it stands currently, religious groups wishing to apply for HHS grants must request a waiver from the Obama regulation.

"Religious liberty is not a license to discriminate," the American Civil Liberties Union said in a tweet slamming the proposed rule. "The needs of children in our foster care system must come first."

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, whose committee approved the Equality Act earlier this year on its way to the House floor, said in a statement that it was "unconscionable that the Trump Administration would allow discrimination with taxpayer funds in critical areas," pointing to an instance in South Carolina earlier this year when a group that had received an HHS waiver turned away a same sex couple looking to become foster parents.

Nadler also issued a call for the GOP-controlled Senate to take up the Equality Act, a move that is highly unlikely.

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