South Carolina’s The State reports:
A federal agency Wednesday granted Republican S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster’s request for a waiver to allow the state Department of Social Service to license faith-based child-placement agencies.
The waiver, issued by the U.S. Department and Health and Human Services, enables the Upstate’s Miracle Hill Ministries to continue its foster-care program, which caters to Christian families.
Supporters, including McMaster [photo above], say the waiver allows Social Services to license faith-based child-placement agencies without requiring them to abandon their religious beliefs. Opponents argue it allows taxpayer-funded discrimination based on religion.
Americans United reacts via press release:
Americans United for Separation of Church and State denounces the Trump administration’s decision today to sanction taxpayer-funded discrimination by allowing South Carolina foster care agencies the right to refuse to work with anyone they deem the “wrong” religion.
“This is yet another example of the Trump administration using religion to advance a regressive political agenda that harms others. And this time, the target is not only religious minorities but also our most vulnerable children – those in need of loving homes,” said Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United. “It is unconscionable that this administration would use government funds to discriminate against the very populations our laws are designed to protect.
“While this waiver is specific to South Carolina, it sets a dangerous nationwide precedent that elevates the beliefs of government-funded programs over the best interests of the children in their care,” Laser continued. “Religious freedom is a fundamental American right – it should never be used to justify discrimination.”
The waiver allows Miracle Hill to reject ALL non-Christian parents, not just LGBT families.