The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has
criticized a series of new rules and guidance memos announced
Thursday by the Trump administration that ease restrictions on
religious groups that receive taxpayer money.
President Donald Trump announced the
new rules as part of recognizing January 16 as Religious Freedom Day.
The nation's largest LGBT rights
advocate said that the rules would undermine LGBT rights.
“Today’s new regulations proposed
by the Trump-Pence White House roll back existing protections for
LGBTQ and other people seeking government services and benefits,”
HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement. “The right to
believe and to exercise one’s faith is a core American value. The
right to discriminate with taxpayer dollars is not. These regulations
would dismantle meaningful protections for beneficiaries of these
federally funded programs and strip away basic notice requirements
designed to ensure that beneficiaries know their rights to be free
from discrimination and their right to an alternative, non-religious
provider. Taxpayer funds should not be used to allow discrimination.”
reported that almost a dozen federal agencies have proposed changes
meant to ease restrictions established by the Obama administration on
religious organizations, including schools and churches.
A proposed change from the Office of
Management and Budget would prohibit government agencies from making
religion a determining factor in awarding federal grants.
A Trump administration official told
News that rules established by former President Barack Obama's
administration created an uneven playing field between secular and
religious groups, with religious groups shouldering a larger
HRC said that the announcement was “the
latest effort in a three-year campaign by the Trump-Pence
administration to sanction discrimination against LGBTQ people under
the guise of religion.”