Two weeks ago the Trump administration announced plans to roll back regulations requiring faith-based organizations that receive public funding to adhere to anti-discrimination standards concerning the LGBTQ community. The rule change would affect a range of organizations from faith-based charities who place children for adoption to clinics administering aid in the form of healthcare. This step by Trump has been widely anticipated for months and is claimed to aim at increasing religious freedom among not-for-profit organizations in America.
This move has been universally denounced by the left as discriminatory and dangerous for the wellbeing of historically marginalized groups in the LGBTQ community – “The rule rolls back a 2016 Obama-era regulation that protected LGBTQ+ people based on sexual orientation and gender identity when determining the recipients of grants from the agency” noted Out.com in a recent article. Writers at the Daily Beast went even further, claiming that this is little more than bigotry clothed in the language of religious freedom.
“It is, simply, bigotry enshrined in law; cruelty written into statute. Church and State are currently the very opposite of separated; they are dancing a delirious tango, with LGBTQ rights trampled underfoot.” Daily Beast
Perhaps as deafening as the uproar from the leftover this rule change is the silence from the political right. Very little has been written in support of the liberal idea of freedom of conscience for non-profit organizations who are specifically religious in their charters and beliefs by anyone not affiliated with a religious organization. One of the only articles we could find was written by a news site called the Deseret. Southern Baptist Convention leader Russell Moore said in a statement, “This new regulation from the Trump administration is a welcome signal that the child welfare system is about the welfare of children — not proxy culture wars.” As well, a group of Catholic Bishops issued a joint statement following the announcement which reads in part:
“We commend the Administration for acting to change a 2016 regulation that threatened to shut out faith-based social service providers, namely adoption and foster care agencies that respect a child’s right to a mother and a father. To restrict faith-based organizations’ work by infringing on religious freedom – as the 2016 rule threatened to do – is unfair and serves no one, especially the children in need of these services.”