FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2019
AUSTIN – Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller is condemning Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s request that the Trump administration exempt publicly funded adoption and foster care agencies in the state from federal rules that bar discrimination for religious reasons.
“This isn’t just a cold-hearted betrayal of kids and the families who could give them loving homes,” Miller said. “It also betrays a fundamental American value that we don’t impose our religious beliefs on others or discriminate against people because they believe differently than we do. Religion isn’t a license to discriminate, at least not in America.”
The political news website Quorum Report on Monday reported that Attorney General Paxton has requested that the Trump administration allow Texas adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate against people who don’t share the same religious beliefs or to whom they have religious objections. Federal rules bar discrimination by publicly funded agencies in states that receive federal dollars for child welfare services.
The Trump administration issued a waiver earlier this year allowing South Carolina agencies to discriminate. A Catholic mother there has filed a lawsuit after a Protestant agency refused to work with her because of her religion. The same agency had earlier refused to work with a Jewish couple.
The Texas Legislature in 2017 passed a bill – HB3859 – allowing adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate under state law. Legislators have filed at least 14 bills this session that would allow businesses, mental health counselors and medical professionals to use religion as a justification for discriminating against LGBT Texans and others.
The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization building an informed and effective movement for equality and social justice.