Vice President Pence this week praised a controversial rule proposed by the Trump administration earlier this month that would allow adoption groups to deny service to LGBTQ parents due to faith-based objections.
While speaking about the proposed rule at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Washington on Tuesday, Pence said the Trump administration “reversed the rule implemented in the closing days of the last administration that jeopardized the ability of faith-based providers to serve those in need by penalizing them for their deeply held religious beliefs.”
“And I couldn’t be more proud that, at President Trump’s direction, and with the strong support of leaders across foster care, adoption, and our faith communities, we’ve taken decisive action,” he continued.
“We will stand for the freedom of religion and we will stand with faith-based organizations to support adoption,” Pence said, adding that the “new rule that respects the freedom of religion of every American, but also recognizes the vital role that faith-based organizations play in adoption in this country.”
The proposal announced by HHS earlier this month would allow adoption groups and foster care to continue to receive federal funding if they choose to deny services to LGBTQ parents on the grounds of faith-based objections.
The proposal would roll back a rule implemented under the Obama administration that expanded anti-discrimination protections to include sexual orientation.
The move has been met with praise from a number of religious groups — and strong opposition from LGBTQ advocates and groups who said it is discriminatory.
In pushing back against criticism over the proposal earlier this month, White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere told The Hill that “LGBT people can still adopt and that will not change.”
“The Administration is rolling back an Obama-era rule that was proposed in the 12 o’clock hour of the last administration that jeopardizes the ability of faith-based providers to continue serving their communities,” Deere said.
“The Federal government should not be in the business of forcing child welfare providers to choose between helping children and their faith,” he added.