The Freedom from Religion Foundation along with a coalition of service and advocacy organizations have filed a lawsuit against eight federal agencies for undoing rules that protect those receiving social services from being discriminated against.
Previously, federal rules had required faith-based organizations that provided critical, tax-payer funded services to inform recipients of their legal right to not be discriminated against, not to have to attend religious programming, and to be given the option for a referral to an alternate provider. The rules helped protect the most vulnerable from being forced to attend a Bible study or join in a prayer in order to access basic rights such food or shelter. Now, those who are seeking these services may needlessly opt into religious activities or forgo assistance altogether in order to avoid participation.
This lawsuit seeks to have this new rules declared a violation of the Administrative Procedures Act and reverse the rollback of these important protections.
The case (1:21-cv-00475) is in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. This case is currently stayed while the new Biden administration proposes changes to the rules.