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HomeIllinois NewsTrump Admin to challenge Obama era discrimination against faith-based groups

Trump Admin to challenge Obama era discrimination against faith-based groups



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WASHINGTON – In 2011, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan used a single complaint to launch an investigation into faith-based groups that facilitated adoption.

Her investigation led to the state quickly withdrawing affiliation with faith-based groups like Catholic Charities' adoption agencies in Rockford, Joliet, Springfield, Peoria, and Southern Illinois, as well as Evangelical Child and Family Services in Wheaton, Illinois.

Eight years later, those faith-based groups that uphold traditional marriage remain severed from helping parentless children find homes.

A development on these issues  in the other direction is taking place at the federal level, however.

The Trump Department of Health and Human Services is set to announce new federal rules rolling back Obama-era discriminations against faith-based groups that handle adoption and foster care. HHS in 2016 added "sexual orientation" language to their rules, essentially forcing faith-based groups to either abide by this new anti-discrimination language or compromise their religious beliefs. 

"This is another big step in the path toward protecting religious liberty," said Ed Martin, president of Phyllis Schlafly Eagles. "This new rule would not only promote religious freedom, but drastically improve the welfare of children in America by allowing wonderful faith-based organizations operational freedom again. 

"The federal government has no business forcing child welfare providers to choose between helping children and following their Christian faith. This rule reversal is right in line with the Trump administration's stellar record of defending Christian values in the public square."

The Lutheran Child and Family Services' 2010 stated policy in Illinois stirred AG Madigan's retaliation in light of the state's Human Rights Act, which bars against discrimination based several categories, including "sexual identification."

The LCFS' "Limitation" said "The Agency will not develop or license adoptive or foster care families who identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or questioning."

However, the stated policy said "LCFS will provide services to a client who identifies himself or herself as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or questioning when staff assessment and case planning (including input from the guardian) indicates that an appropriate service is available and that the issues and concerns of the client and of the caregivers can be managed satisfactorily." 

Children seeking homes in Illinois now must rely on the state's placement services to find parents, as faith-based groups have pulled out of the ministry.

Files obtained by Illinois Review in 2011 are available HERE.


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  1. The state’s Human Rights Act, which bars against discrimination based several categories, including “sexual identification.” However, the human rights act is a state statute and does NOT overrule our constitutionally protected religious freedom in the state constitution’s Bill of Rights.
    Former AG, Madigan showed her incompetence by her religious persecution and attack on religious freedom.