Following the announcement that a government-funded child welfare agency in South Carolina is exempt from federal non-discrimination law, Katy Joseph, Interfaith Alliance policy and legislative advisor, called on Congress to pass the Do No Harm Act and revoke Miracle Hill Ministries’ new license to discriminate:
“Today’s decision by the Department of Health and Human Services will allow Miracle Hill Ministries to violate federal nondiscrimination laws with impunity – and use government funds to do it. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), cited by Miracle Hill supporters, was designed to protect private religious expression, not to give carte blanche to religious conservatives seeking to impose their beliefs on others.
“The country’s child welfare system is guided by the principle that the best interest of the child must come first. When an adoption agency rejects qualified prospective parents for religious reasons, they foreclose the possibility of a vulnerable child finding a safe and loving home.
“Congress must act now to limit the harm caused by this waiver, and the others that will surely follow. Passing the Do No Harm Act should be a critical priority of the 116th Congress. RFRA must be restored to its original intent so that religious freedom is a shield to protect the personal right of free exercise and not a sword used to discriminate and divide.”
Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit www.interfaithalliance.org.