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Republican AGs blast proposed federal foster care plan they say discriminates against Christians

The proposed rule is "unconstitutional because it discriminates against individuals and organizations of faith who want to serve children in the foster care system," the 19 Republican attorneys general said.

Published: November 28, 2023 1:59pm

A coalition of Republican attorneys general is pushing against a proposed Department of Health and Human Services rule that they argue is unconstitutional and discriminates against Christians. 

The proposed rule would require states to place foster children who identify as LGBT+ in "safe and appropriate" environments, which would be established by providers who have undergone training to provide for children's needs related to their sexual orientation and gender identity. The provider is also expected to use the child's identified pronouns and chosen name and allow the child to dress in a manner that reflects their gender identity.

The proposed rule is "unconstitutional because it discriminates against individuals and organizations of faith who want to serve children in the foster care system," the 19 Republican attorneys general wrote in a letter Monday to Health and Human Services. The proposal also should be rejected because it "unconstitutionally forces speech on foster providers," the attorneys general also said. 

The politicians also pointed out that the proposed rule threatens to discriminate against family members, who are typically preferred over placement in foster care, because they may not follow the agency's proposed requirements to care for LGBT+ children.

Practicing Christians are three times more likely to seriously consider fostering than the general population, according to a study cited by the attorneys. 

"States need faith-based organizations in their foster care system. The proposed rule will drive individuals and organizations of faith away, which will increase the strain on the system by reducing the number of available foster homes," the group wrote. 

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