Proposed Rule Would Roll Back Basic Non-Discrimination Protections
On November 1, 2019, the Trump Administration announced it will stop enforcing Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations that prohibit discrimination in HHS-funded programs based on sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, or (in some cases) religion. The federal government is collecting comments from the public until December 19, 2019, as they decide whether to remove these protections for good.
This proposed rule endangers the health and wellbeing of millions of Americans. While some HHS programs have their own non-discrimination standards, this change would remove the canopy of protections that apply to $500 billion of grant-funded programs per year. Under this rule:
- Federally funded community health centers could turn away patients in need, simply because they’re LGBTQ+.
- A foster care agency could turn away qualified parents because they are Jewish or Catholic, keeping a child in a group home instead of with a loving family.
- A senior services center could continue to receive government funding while ignoring sexual harassment of women it serves.
- Community meal programs designed to support older adults could refuse to deliver food to older Americans who are LGBTQ+.
As people of faith and good conscience, we cannot allow the federal government to deprive our friends and neighbors of life-saving services. Our taxpayer dollars should never be used to discriminate or hurt the most vulnerable among us—but that’s exactly what this rule would do.
Now is the time to speak out against discrimination. Will you join Interfaith Alliance in condemning this rule? Here are a few resources to help you formulate your thoughts:
- The #FaithForEquality Coalition has created talking points, designed to help people of faith connect their personal values with opposition to this rule.
- Our friends at Faith in Public Life offer a how-to on moral messaging to prevent discrimination.
- The Every Child Deserves a Family Campaign has created a portal to make commenting quick and easy. Explore their sample comments, focusing on the harms this rule poses to children in foster care.
Want to go right to the source? Visit by the online comment portal to speak out against discrimination by December 19, 2019.