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Trump’s Final Swipe Against LGBTQ Parents

Not that there was ever a question about where Trump stands on the subject of LGBTQ rights — but the outgoing administration is certainly trying to make it crystal clear in its waning days.

With just a week left before leaving office, the Department of Health and Human Services finalized a rule that will allow state-funded social-service providers to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The new rule will permit discrimination against potential LGBTQ adoptive and foster care parents — but may also have implications for agencies that work on homelessness, HIV prevention, among others.

“With this rule, the Trump Administration and HHS continue their no-holds-barred and comprehensive assault on the health and well-being of LGBTQ people and everyone living with HIV, as well as on women, religious minorities, and limited English speakers,” said Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Sasha Buchert in a statement. “Even as Trump administration officials abandon ship, HHS has announced yet another dangerous rule that invites discrimination against the very people federal grant programs are meant to help.”

The good news is that the rule isn’t set to take effect until February 11th — well after the incoming Biden-Harris administration will take power, which has promised to reverse the rule. President-elect Biden said in a statement, that he will “work to ensure that qualified families are not discriminated against based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, sex, marital status, disability, or religion and that child-welfare agencies put the interests of children first, including those who are LGBTQ+.”

But the simple fact that the administration has taken every opportunity to attack and discriminate against LGBTQ parents won’t be soon forgotten.

It’s a “nasty parting shot that won’t stand,” said Julie Kruse, director of federal policy for Family Equality, this rule and Supreme Court decision may have far-reaching consequences. “It does clog up the works; it does delay protections.”
And regardless of what the incoming administration does — the Supreme Court may make their pro-LGBTQ efforts moot. A case before the court, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, now before the Supreme Court, also concerns the right of state-funded child welfare agencies to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. And the 6-3 conservative majority on the court — including all three justices appointed during the Trump years — appeared sympathetic to the anti-LGBTQ argument.
It’s a final reminder that though we may be rid of Trump in a week’s time — we’ll be living with his anti-LGBTQ legacy for months and years to come.


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