Pence 'proud' of Trump rule that would block LGBTQ people from adopting

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Vice President Mike Pence used National Adoption Month to praise a bigoted new proposal from the Health and Human Services Department.

It's National Adoption Month,  so naturally Mike Pence took the opportunity to extol the virtues of a proposed administration rule that would allow conservative Christian adoption and foster care agencies to refuse to work with LGBTQ people.

And they'll still get taxpayer money to do so.

Pence made his remarks at a Department of Health and Human Services event earlier this week. He said he "couldn't be more proud" of the bigoted rule, which strips a number of Obama-era protections from LGBTQ people.

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Under the rule proposed by HHS last week, so-called "faith-based" agencies can discriminate against LGBTQ people in several ways — not just where adoption is concerned. The rule would apply to medical research initiatives, drug abuse reduction programs, and more. That's because it is written so broadly that it applies to nearly every type of grant HHS provides.

And it doesn't just discriminate against LGBTQ people. HHS grantees can discriminate against anyone they want to as long as they frame it as a faith-based objection. Those agencies blocking gay couples from adopting can also block unmarried people from doing so, for example.

Unsurprisingly, Pence loves it. In his remarks at HHS, he said that the Obama-era rule "jeopardized the ability of faith-based providers to serve those in need by penalizing them for their deeply held religious beliefs." However, those providers were always free to work with whomever they like and refuse whomever they don't — they just couldn't receive taxpayer money to do so.

Meanwhile, 100,000 foster children await adoption, according to the administration's own data, and LGBTQ couples adopt or foster at a rate far higher than heterosexual couples.

As much as Pence and his fellow religious bigots would like to believe it is true, no evidence being raised by a same-sex couple is detrimental to children in any fashion. Indeed, one recent study found that children of same-sex couples do better in school than children of heterosexual parents. Nearly every study of every sort has concluded children raised by gay or lesbian parents do not fare worse than other children.

What the administration is really doing is blocking children from loving homes, all in the name of enshrining religious bigotry into law.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.