On October 26, 2017, the US Department of Health and Human Services issued a request for information on ways it can let faith-based organizations use religion as an excuse to harm others. Premised as figuring out how to remove “barriers” it claims faith-based organizations face when seeking taxpayer funding from HHS, the RFI is really just a step to implement Department of Justice guidance on “religious freedom.”
The RFI and guidance would allow discrimination under the guise of religion and LGBTQ people, women, religious minorities, and others will face the most harm. As a result, organizations that get funding from HHS could refuse to serve LGBTQ families or single mothers, provide needed reproductive healthcare to victims of sexual assault, or counseling to interfaith couples or couples with a partner who is divorced. HHS could also allow contractors or grantees to refuse to hire a qualified applicant because she uses birth control.
Religious freedom is a fundamental American value. It guarantees us all the right to believe, or not, as we see fit. But it doesn’t give anyone the right to use religion as an excuse to harm other people, especially when using taxpayer dollars.
RFI Status Comments period closed November 24, 2018
RFI Text Here