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Sweeping Trump regulations allow religion-based discrimination

Nine separate federal agencies have announced a coordinated flurry of regulations that will loosen the restrictions on faith-based organizations receiving federal funds. By introducing them all at once, and at a particularly busy moment for the country, the Trump administration is hoping that these new rules will go unnoticed and unchallenged.

Although the text of these regulations is not yet available, the changes are based on a deeply problematic executive order directing federal agencies to expand their work with religious organizations and a theocratic attorney general memo from 2017. Under the guise of protecting “religious liberty,” the goal is to allow faith-based organizations to receive federal funds without complying with laws that they don’t want to follow for religious reasons.

In other words, this allows religious organizations to discriminate while receiving public money. The new rules will mandate taxpayer-funded discrimination.

FFRF opposes these rule changes. Federal funds should never be used to discriminate, and religious liberty should not be distorted into an excuse to harm others while receiving government funding.

FFRF will fight these rules and urges its supporters to do the same. As we learn more about the rules, members who are signed up for FFRF action alerts will be told how they can submit public comment to oppose the rules. By law, agencies must take public comment into account when changing rules. FFRF urges everyone who wants to help fight for the constitutional separation between religion and government to sign up as an FFRF member to receive action alerts on issues like this.