Donald Trump lifts a baby during a campaign rally. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
The Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) announced today that adoption agencies will be allowed to discriminate against LGBT+ people.
Ironically, the rule change was announced on the first day of National Adoption Month (November 1).
The rule change, effective immediately, means that any health programmes that receive federal grants from the HSS will no longer have to abide by nondiscrimination guidelines protecting LGBT+ people, all in the name of “religious freedom”.
According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, the change will allow discrimination against LGBT+ people “in HIV and STI prevention programs, opioid programs, youth homelessness services, health professional training, substance use recovery programs, and many other life-saving services.”
But adoption and fostering services also come under the HSS department if they are funded by the government, meaning faith-based agencies will be able to refuse to place children with families based on sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.
Julie Kruse of the charity Family Equality said in a press release: “It is outrageous that the Trump administration would mark the start of National Adoption Month by announcing a rule to further limit the pool of loving homes available to America’s 440,000 foster children.
“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.”
Anti-LGBT+ conservatives celebrated the announcement.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council which has been named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, said: “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.”
The Nation Center for Transgender Equality said that because of the rule’s immediate effect, it rules out formal opposition.
The Trump administration has already proposed to roll-back rules protecting LGBT+ people from discrimination under a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
This new attack on LGBT+ health and child services will allow LGBT+ discrimination by any and all providers with government funding.