A proposed new regulation would strip all protections for LGBTQ people from all programs administered by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, and give special rights to entities or programs that are religious or “faith-based.” HHS, under the direction of Secretary Alex Azar, has a budget of $1.2 trillion affecting the health and well-being, directly or indirectly, of nearly every person in the country.
Lambda Legal says the proposed rule “would invite HHS grantees receiving taxpayer funds to discriminate based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion.”
This rule will openly encourage discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, AND religion in *all* HHS programs.
This is taxpayer-funded discrimination. Religion is NOT a #LicenseToDiscriminate.
— Lambda Legal (@LambdaLegal) November 1, 2019
While reportedly drafted to focus on adoption and foster care organizations, the Human Rights Campaign also says the proposed rule would extend far beyond those entities to all programs that receive funding from HHS.
“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,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “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. It is unconscionable that the Trump-Pence administration would prioritize advancing discrimination over the wellbeing of vulnerable people and expect taxpayers to foot the bill for their discriminatory policies. The Trump-Pence White House is relying on the same flawed legal reasoning they’ve used in the past to justify discrimination against LGBTQ people and other communities.”
The Washington Blade, noting the proposed regulation “will have far-reaching implications,” reports the proposal would “undo an Obama-era policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation among federal grantees.”
According to the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) the Blade says “the rule will allow anti-trans discrimination in HIV and STI prevention programs, opioid programs, youth homelessness services, health professional training, substance-use recovery programs and other life-saving services.”
“The proposal seeks to gut an Obama-era rule that barred entities receiving money under federal contracts, including adoption agencies, from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.”
HHS is reportedly granting only 30 days for public comment and review.
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.
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Watch Live: Trump to Announce ‘Big Action’ to Promote Public School Prayer
President Donald Trump is promising “big action” that will promote school prayer, at a 2 PM White House event Thursday, “Guidance on Constitutional Prayer in Public Schools.” Thursday is also Religious Freedom Day.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that praying in school is legal, but promotion of prayer or religion in public schools is illegal. The administration has not released details of its plan, but has a long track record now of instituting unconstitutional or illegal policies and then fighting lawsuits in court. Trump’s Muslim travel ban, and co-opting of Defense Dept. funds to build his border wall are just two examples.
“We think this is going to be another Christian nationalist attempt to redefine – really, weaponize – religious liberty,” Elizabeth Cavell, Freedom From Religion Foundation’s associate counsel, says.
Just three days into the new year President Trump made the inflammatory “big action” promise to Christians evangelical supporters at a Florida megachurch.
“We will not allow faithful Americans to be bullied by the hard left,” Trump said, as Time reported. “Very soon, I’ll be taking action to safeguard students’ and teachers’ First Amendment rights to pray in our schools. We’re doing a big action, Attorney General Bill Barr.”
“They want to take that right, can you believe it?” Trump told the attendees at the El Rey Jesus Church in Miami.
In fact, no one is trying to “take that right,” but the Supreme Court has been crystal clear on what is, and is not, constitutional when it comes to prayer in schools.
Some may try to use whatever support for school prayer the President and Attorney General Bill Barr offer as an opportunity to attack LGBTQ students or even teachers or administration officials.
Trump is known for making big promises, including to the conservative evangelical community, and getting them to believe his claims, however false. He spent years attacking the Johnson Amendment, which bans faith-based entities from supporting political candidates. He claimed, “I’ve gotten rid of the Johnson Amendment.” That’s false.
Instead, he signed an executive order directing the IRS to exercise maximum discretion in enforcing tax laws for religious organizations, including churches, under the Johnson Amendment.
But evangelicals believed his falsehoods.
You can watch Trump’s 2 PM event at C-SPAN.
NCRM will embed the White House live video feed when it become available.
UPDATE: 2:25 PM –
Trump's simultaneous event on constitutional prayer in Public Schools has been inexplicably delayed. https://t.co/0QdlUL7C0l
— Annie Karni (@anniekarni) January 16, 2020
‘Kill the Gays’ Pastor Suggests Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Is Demonically Possessed and ‘Needs Jesus’
Radical right-wing pastor Kevin Swanson declared on his radio program yesterday that Time magazine’s decision to name climate change activist Greta Thunberg as 2019’s Person of the Year is a sign of “the unraveling of the Western world.”
Swanson, who normally uses his radio program to declare that the proper biblical punishment for homosexuality is death, seized on the fact that Thunberg has Asperger’s syndrome, and suggested that she is demonically possessed and in need of Jesus.
“She’s psychologically disturbed,” Swanson said, likening her to the young boy in Mark 9 who was healed by Jesus after being possessed by a demonic spirit.
“I have to say there is something very disturbing about the appearance of and the presentation of this Greta Thunberg,” Swanson commented. “The other demonic spirits are using her to lead the world wherever it’s going.”
“Friends, if this isn’t a quintessential demonstration of the death of the West, or what an entire empire, what multiple empires, look like at the verge of collapsing, this is it,” he added. “It’s ridiculous. On the one hand, we want to be compassionate with Greta. I truly believe that Greta needs Jesus and short of her coming to Christ, I don’t know what is going to happen to this young lady. It is sad to see her in the condition that she is in.”
This article was originally published at Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission
GOP Governor Is Relying on Citizen’s Prayers to Stop School Shootings and End Opioid Epidemic
Bill Lee is fond of rolling up his sleeves but in a unique move the Tennessee Republican governor has just made his job much easier. Gov. Lee says it’s up to citizens to end school shootings and the opioid epidemic, and to improve results in the state’s schools, by praying.
“If thousands of people offer similar prayers, he believes God will impart his favor on Tennessee,” the AP reports. “The governor’s remarks came during a luncheon at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Nashville headquarters.”
The 60-year old governor who took office in January apparently does not believe enough people in “The Volunteer State” are praying for health care. He has rejected legislation that would expand the state’s Medicare program, but believes that Tennesseans will become more physically active now that he has signed a bill repealing the state’s tax on gyms and health clubs.
Lee also believes that passing a virtual total ban on abortion will help his state’s citizens.
Meanwhile, Friendly Atheist notes that Gov. Lee “held a literal ‘worship’ service on the day of his inauguration,” and “announced that October 10 would be an official day of prayer and fasting across the state.”
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