Congress Passes Spending Bill Without Child Welfare Discrimination Amendment

September 26, 2018 4:30 pm

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WASHINGTON — The House today passed a government spending bill that includes funding for the Department of Health and Human Services without the inclusion of a child welfare discrimination amendment. The legislation will now go to the White House for final signature.

The so-called Aderholt Amendment was included in an earlier version of the bill, and if passed, would have allowed taxpayer-funded child welfare agencies to turn away potential adoptive or foster parents based on a provider’s religious beliefs. The amendment was opposed by 250 child welfare, civil rights, religious, and other organizations, as well as more than 40 members of the Senate.

Ian Thompson, senior legislative representative with the American Civil Liberties Union, had the following reaction.

“This amendment would have placed the religious and moral beliefs of certain taxpayer-funded child welfare service providers above the best interests of the children in their care. The only determination that should govern the actions of these providers is what is in the best interests of the child. No family should ever be told they are not qualified to serve as foster or adoptive parents because they are LGBTQ or the ‘wrong’ religion. The successful defeat of the Aderholt Amendment sends a clear message: There is no place for taxpayer-funded discrimination in the child welfare system.”

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