The Trump Administration announced today that it is updating federal guidance for prayer in public schools and other initiatives aimed at protecting religious freedom, which White House officials said are aimed at reducing discrimination against people and groups of faith. The changes were announced durning “National Religious Freedom Day”.
The update is proposing new rules affecting nine federal agencies on social services programs, updating federal guidance on prayer in public schools and instructing federal agencies to ensure states do not condition grants of federal funds “in a manner that would disadvantage grant applicants based on their religious character,” the White House stated.
In a statement released following the proposed changes, The Los Angeles LGBT Center condemned the new regulations, calling them a discriminatory attack that will negatively impact social service provisions at the departments of Agriculture; Education; Health and Human Services; Homeland Security; Housing and Urban Development; Justice; Labor; USAID; and the Veterans Administration.
Los Angeles LGBT Center’s statement of condemnation is as follows:
“The Trump Administration today released regulations that allow faith-based organizations to discriminate against members of the LGBT community when they seek vital and life-saving social services programs. These regulations span a variety of federal departments including Labor, Education, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs. The Administration’s thinly disguised effort to remove regulatory guarantees that ensure equal treatment of LGBT people is yet another example of the concerted attacks against our community. Make no mistake about it: This is not about religious freedom—it’s about freedom to discriminate and harm in the name of religion. These new regulations give federally funded faith-based organizations the license to discriminate against millions of LGBT Americans. We demand the right to access social services supported by our tax dollars like all other Americans. We will continue to fight this ongoing attack on our rights. We will not be silenced or forced back into the closet.”
To learn more about the Los Angeles LGBT Center, visit: www.lalgbtcenter.org.