Following the announcement that a government-funded child welfare agency in South Carolina is exempt from federal non-discrimination law, Katy Joseph, Interfaith Alliance policy and legislative advisor, called on Congress to pass the Do No Harm Act and revoke Miracle Hill Ministries’ new license to discriminate:
“Today’s decision by the Department of Health and Human Services will allow Miracle Hill Ministries to violate federal nondiscrimination laws with impunity – and use government funds to do it. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), cited by Miracle Hill supporters, was designed to protect private religious expression, not to give carte blanche to religious conservatives seeking to impose their beliefs on others.
“The country’s child welfare system is guided by the principle that the best interest of the child must come first. When an adoption agency rejects qualified prospective parents for religious reasons, they foreclose the possibility of a vulnerable child finding a safe and loving home.
“Congress must act now to limit the harm caused by this waiver, and the others that will surely follow. Passing the Do No Harm Act should be a critical priority of the 116th Congress. RFRA must be restored to its original intent so that religious freedom is a shield to protect the personal right of free exercise and not a sword used to discriminate and divide.”
Interfaith Alliance is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.