STATEMENT: Trump Administration Decision Condones Discrimination in State Foster Care Agencies

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Trump administration announced that foster agencies in South Carolina do not have to comply with federal rules barring discrimination, even if they receive federal funding. This decision was made after the state requested a waiver for Miracle Hill Ministries, one of South Carolina’s largest foster care agencies, which turned away a Jewish couple seeking to provide foster care and refuses to place children with families who are not Protestant, heterosexual married couples. In response, Maggie Siddiqi, director of the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

This decision weaponizes our nation’s right to religious freedom in order to justify discrimination in the foster care system, depriving children of welcoming homes. It is wrong for the government to hand out taxpayer dollars to a foster agency and then sanction that agency’s discrimination against certain qualified prospective parents, whether they be Jewish, LGBTQ, or a member of some other minority group. Such approval raises serious constitutional concerns and imposes one narrow religious viewpoint on others.

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