STATEMENT: HHS Rule Change Gives Grantees a License To Discriminate

Washington, D.C. — Today, Winnie Stachelberg, executive vice president for External Affairs at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement on the proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that gives all grantees of the department a license to discriminate:

“President Donald Trump and his Department of Health and Human Services have once again confirmed that it and the administration support wide-spread discrimination and are not concerned with protecting the health and welfare of the American people.  The proposed rule weaponizes more than $525 billion in grants by eliminating nondiscrimination protections on the basis of sex, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity and potentially undermining protections for other groups.

This agenda is driven by people who oppose allowing otherwise qualified prospective parents who happen to be LGBTQ, married same-sex couples, single women, or religious minorities to adopt or foster children in urgent need of loving homes. But the discrimination doesn’t end there: The proposed rule flings the door wide open to discrimination across all HHS grant programs, which provide HIV and STI prevention, reproductive health care, homeless youth services, anti-trafficking programs, and many more vital services.

That the Trump administration is once again allowing discrimination on the basis of religion shows its complete disregard for faith communities across America and demonstrates that it is only working to serve a narrow political interest. This proposed rule is a full-scale attack on marginalized communities using the full force of a federal agency to enable harm, and it must be stopped.”

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For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Adam Peck at or (202) 741-6363.