FFRF applauds federal aid to child care centers with anti-discrimination provisions

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has signed onto a letter, along with a diverse coalition of organizations, supporting an important aspect of the Build Back Better Act that just passed the U.S. House: a strong move to end discrimination in child care around the country.

The Act would include much-needed child care support for both parents and providers. To receive this federal funding, daycare centers and other child care facilities would have to abide by basic federal anti-discrimination rules.

Naturally, some churches are objecting to this rule because they would like to receive federal funds while discriminating against parents and kids based on the churches’ religiously motivated bigotry. Historically, churches have been senselessly exempted from such provisions. If this provision passes, parents will be able to take their child to any child care facility that receives federal funding with confidence that they cannot be turned away based on their or their children’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

“This change is long overdue,” commented FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “If churches want to insist on discriminatory practices, they should have to do so without the financial support and tacit approval of the federal government.”

Churches opposing the measure typically try to reframe the issue by claiming they would be excluded from funding, but this is not the case, FFRF points out. The funding is equally available to everyone willing to follow basic rules attached to federal support.

Similar objections were raised when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, as business owners and segregationist school board members insisted that racial discrimination was their religious right. Such anti-discrimination provisions do not extend to churches, unless they decide to accept support from U.S. taxpayers.

“With public funding comes public accountability,” adds Gaylor. “No American should ever be forced to support discrimination, or to support religion, with their taxes. Using taxes to fund religiously based discrimination should be unthinkable.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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