Several Republican attorneys general have called for the Biden administration to end a proposed rule for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that requires foster families to affirm a child’s gender identity.
The attorneys general said the mandate discriminates against Christians.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall and 18 other Republicans wrote a letter to HHS, saying the rule “will harm children by limiting the number of available foster homes, harm families by risking kinship placements, and harm states by increasing costs and decreasing care options.”
“These injuries will be suffered while HHS fails to solve a problem that the proposed rule does not even prove exists in foster care,” the Republicans write.
The attorneys general argue that the proposed rule “seeks to accomplish indirectly what the Supreme Court found unconstitutional just two years ago: remove faith-based providers from the foster care system if they will not conform their religious beliefs on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Describing the Christian influence in foster care, the letter read, “Caring for children in need is a duty of the Christian faith,” adding that “The foster care system depends on individuals and organizations of faith.”
“Without faith-based organizations and foster homes, the foster care system would face a critical lack of placement options.”
The Republicans note that the proposed rule “discriminates against individuals and organizations of faith,” “violates the freedom of religion,” “violates the freedom of speech,” and endangers children.
Marshal said in a press release, “Since the first century, Christians across the globe have answered the call to provide a home and a family to children who had neither. Alabama boasts a particularly strong faith-based foster care and adoption community, and I will fight this Administration for them every step of the way.”
“Joe Biden continues to harass our State and others like it by implicitly threatening to withhold federal funding for children in need if we do not conform to his ideology, but our values are not for sale.”
The attorney general of the following states wrote the letter: Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.