A new proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services would undo an Obama-era ban on federal funds being given to groups that discriminate against LGBT people.
Under the Obama rule, sexual orientation and gender identity were considered protected classes, and federal funds were not allowed to flow to organizations — such as foster homes, adoption groups, medical providers and others — who discriminated on those grounds.
Under the Trump administration’s proposed erasure of that rule, an adoption agency that refuses to work with same-sex couples could still receive federal funds.
The rule change would eliminate language instituted during the Obama administration that specified that grant recipients could not discriminate “based on non-merit factors such as age, disability, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation.”
The proposed language replaces that with a ban on discrimination “to the extent doing so is prohibited by federal statute.”
Federal law currently protects against discrimination on the basis of race, disability status and other factors, but not sex or gender identity.
“The Trump-Pence White House has proposed a horrific federal regulation that would permit discrimination across the entire spectrum of HHS programs receiving federal funding,” Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said in a statement Friday. “This would permit discrimination against LGBTQ people, religious minorities, and women in programs related to foster care, adoption, HIV and STI prevention, youth homelessness, refugee resettlement, elder care programs and more.