STATEMENT: Trump Administration’s Proposed Rules Undermine Rights of People Seeking Critical Services

Washington, D.C. — On Thursday, the Trump administration announced the first in a series of rule changes that would unfairly privilege faith-based recipients of billions in taxpayer dollars over the rights of Americans to access critical services free from discrimination.

The new rules further this administration’s abuse of religious liberty, which it has used as a cudgel against the LGBTQ community and others, while undermining the rights of religious minorities. If enacted, they would undermine the separation of church and state and erode protections for people seeking services from faith-based organizations. Winnie Stachelberg, executive vice president for External Affairs at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

The Trump-Pence administration has made very clear since their first weeks in office that they will use the language of religious freedom as cover for enabling discrimination, including against people of faith, and for eroding church-state separation.

The regulations proposed today represent a coordinated, administration-wide effort that would harm individuals seeking services funded by the federal government. Under this proposal, people who seek these critical services from entities receiving government money may be turned away without being provided an alternative place to go. In addition to the harms of being turned away from jobs or services, individuals and families may choose to go without help—even when in crisis—for fear of experiencing discrimination.

These proposals put forward no serious evidence for why current regulations should be changed and do not make a serious attempt to account for the multiple ways in which individuals and families would be harmed. They should be rejected by the public and withdrawn.

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