Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has joined 18 other state attorneys general in opposing a recently proposed rule that would prevent Christians who do not affirm LGBTQ lifestyles from becoming foster parents.
The rule—proposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on September 28—is called the “Safe and Appropriate Foster Care Placement Requirements for Titles IV-E and IV-B.”
The summary of the rule proposes that guidelines be established for foster parents to follow, specifically concerning children who identify as LGBTQ.
According to The Gateway Pundit, the American Family Association said that “Those who do not ‘affirm’ the LGBTQ rules because of their Christian faith will be deemed ‘unsafe’ by the Biden administration and ultimately rejected as foster parent candidates.”
In response, Paxton signed onto a letter along with 18 other attorneys general in opposition to the proposed rule.
“This proposed rule seeks to accomplish indirectly what the Supreme Court found unconstitutional just two years ago: remove faith-based providers from the foster care system if they will not conform their religious beliefs on sexual orientation and gender identity,” the letter reads.
Among its many other objections to the proposed rule, the letter notes that individuals and organizations of faith are a critical part of the foster care system.
It also says that the rule discriminates against individuals and organizations of faith, threatens discrimination against family members, and threatens foster children themselves.
“The proposed rule infringes on the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech, fundamental rights preserved by the First Amendment,” it reads. “The Supreme Court has repeatedly rejected attempts by the government to exclude foster care providers based on religious beliefs or to mandate speech on private actors.”
It concludes by stating that “The proposed rule also will harm children, harm families, and harm States, all to advance an ideology. HHS should reject the proposed rule.”
In addition to Paxton, the letter was signed by the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.