March 2, 2017
More than 150 conservative leaders are urging President Trump to sign an executive order "protecting the practical exercise of religious freedom." The letter, sent yesterday, is from the Council for National Policy, currently led by the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins. It began by thanking Trump for "beginning to reverse" the "devastating trend" of Obama-era policies hurting religious freedom. The Council for National Policy members asked Trump to issue "an executive order to prevent federal discrimination against [Americans] for acting in accordance with their beliefs." Examples of such ongoing discrimination include Christian adoption agencies having to shut down and the Little Sisters of the Poor being forced to participate in the provision of contraception. Federal grantees "face the prospect of the government forcing them to violate their faith or give up their role serving the disadvantaged and poor around the world," the letter explains.
March 1, 2017
The biggest problem with current sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) laws-including "Fairness for All," which proposes a grand-bargain compromise between SOGI laws and religious liberty-is that they do not appropriately define what counts as discriminatory. As I explain in a new report for The Heritage Foundation, "How to Think About Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Policies and Religious Freedom," these are the laws that are being used to shutter Catholic adoption agencies, fine evangelical bakers, and force businesses and public facilities to allow men into women's locker rooms. ... Catholic Charities adoption agencies decline to place the children entrusted to their care with same-sex couples not because of their sexual orientation, but because of the conviction that children deserve both a mother and a father. That belief-that men and women are not interchangeable, mothers and fathers are not replaceable, the two best dads in the world cannot make up for a missing mom, and the two best moms in the world cannot make up for a missing dad-has absolutely nothing to do with sexual orientation.
October 3, 2015
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has promised, if she becomes President, to use her influence to cut off federal funding for adoption and foster care agencies that "discriminate against LGBT people." Clinton said: "As president, I would push to cut off federal funding for any child welfare agency that discriminates against LGBT people. For me, there is no excuse - none - for hurting children and families like this."
June 11, 2015
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a law letting faith-based adoption agencies with state contracts decline to participate in referrals that violate their beliefs. The Republican governor told The Associated Press Thursday that the legislation codifies existing state practice for private agencies with contracts to place children and ensures as many organizations as possible are involved in helping kids be adopted
November 9, 2014
Much worse than the stories about Brendan Eich or Phil Robertson are the stories that involve government coercion, government fines and other punitive action. The examples are well known at this point. Consider Christian-run adoption agencies in Massachusetts and Illinois and Washington, D.C., that have been forced out of the adoption space because they wanted to find homes with married moms and dads for the children they were responsible for. They just wanted to run their adoption agency according to their belief that children deserve a mom and a dad-and the state said no.
August 1, 2014
But increasingly, many families may face barriers in finding an agency able to sympathize with their central values and religious motivation for caring for needy boys and girls. That's because in places such as California, Massachusetts, Illinois and the District of Columbia, some faith-based child welfare service providers have been forced to halt services simply because they believe that children do best when raised by a mom and a dad. In Illinois alone, a 2011 change in law has forced Catholic and evangelical Christian child welfare service providers to stop serving over 2,000 children