GOP lawmakers sought rule to let faith-based groups exclude LGBT parents

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A dozen state lawmakers are taking credit for a proposed new rule from the Trump administration, which would allow faith-based adoption and foster organizations to deny services to LGBTQ families on religious grounds.

The rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services would be a rollback of action taken by the Obama administration in 2016.​

The White House says the proposal protects religious organizations from having to choose between helping children and following their religious beliefs.​

Twelve Pennsylvania Senate Republicans sent a letter to President Donald Trump in September, asking for the Obama-era rule to be reversed.​

“Myself and 11 other colleagues in the senate were a bit outraged by this, by this abuse and overreach by the government, by this intolerance and bigotry being imposed on Christian organizations,” said state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Adams), one of the 12 to sign the letter. “Let these Christian organizations resume their ability to place these kids who need their help.”​

LGBTQ groups are concerned the rule would make even fewer families available to the thousands of foster children who are awaiting adoption.​

“This action harms America’s foster children, particularly the 123,000 waiting for adoption. Less than half of these children will find their forever families within a year, yet the administration is acting to make even fewer families available,” said Denise Brogan-Kator, chief policy officer at Family Equality. ​

The proposed rule would also apply to other programs receiving federal grants, including those that help with HIV prevention or homelessness.​

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